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AoC responds to Public Accounts Committee report on FE funding

14 December 2022

In response to the Commons Public Accounts Select Committee report Developing workforce skills for a strong economy David Hughes, AoC chief executive said: “Colleges are key to building the labour market the country needs, but they are being starved of the investment to deliver much-needed skilled workers.

“Anyone working in the sector will not be surprised by the alarming picture this report highlights. Cuts since 2010 have reduced participation in adult education to record low numbers. With economists predicting a sharp economic downturn, it is more apparent than ever that skills and retraining must be a priority for this government.

“Whole sectors are struggling to recruit people with the skills they need, which is a massive drain on productivity and economic growth. We also know participating in learning reduces social isolation and improves wellbeing, as numerous studies have shown loneliness negatively impacts people’s health and costs the taxpayer when the health service has to pick up the pieces.

“The Autumn Statement glaringly left colleges out of the funding boost schools enjoyed. I would urge the Prime Minister and the Chancellor to recognise that investing in skills is not only the right thing to do, but it also delivers a return on investment for the exchequer.”

Notes to editors

The report can be found here.