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AoC responds to Labour manifesto

13 June 2024

Labour manifesto

David Hughes, Chief Executive, Association of Colleges, said:

"The Labour party has clearly been listening on post-16 education and skills and recognises the vital role that colleges play in their local communities and in national economic growth. It's also significant to see the thinking on how colleges and universities need to work together, playing to their respective core missions and strengths. I look forward to working with colleagues on that tertiary education vision should Labour win power.

“I particularly welcome the commitments on a reform of the apprenticeship levy and the introduction of Skills England as a skills oversight body linking industrial strategy, migration and key national growth sectors like net zero, health and construction. We have a paper due to be published tomorrow which clearly shows there is a broad consensus across the sector for a body like this, and sets out a blueprint for how it could work in practice.

“I am also pleased that they have recognised the vital role colleges play as anchor institutions in their communities, leading on skills training, with the proposal on technical excellence colleges.

“We know that the FE sector has been starved of resources over the last 14 years, and we want to see the next government seriously commit to investing in FE, its students and its workforce. At the moment, college lecturers are paid on average £9,000 less than those teaching in secondary schools. This is unacceptable, and if Labour does form the next government, I look forward to working with them to eradicate this gap, and reverse the chronic underfunding suffered by the sector.”

A full A-Z of further education can be found here, and a cheat sheet of key policies and issues in FE can be found here.