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AoC welcomes a Labour government

04 July 2024

David Hughes 5

David Hughes, Chief Executive, Association of Colleges, said: “The nation wakes today to a Labour government elected on a manifesto of change and with a strong focus on achieving economic growth in order to invest the money so sorely needed across the public sector. I am clear that colleges will need to have a central role across the government's missions and ambitions if they are to deliver the change they want to see.

"Our work with the shadow education ministers makes me optimistic that they understand how important colleges are and will engage with us to take forward their manifesto commitments. I am looking forward to meeting the new ministerial team and offering them my congratulations, but I will also set out two other things. Firstly, that their leadership of the education and skills systems can transform lives and is an immense privilege as well as a responsibility, but in doing that they can rely on educators to help them design a better system, policies and ways of working. Secondly, I will be reminding them of the actions and decisions that they can take in the coming weeks to show that they truly have been listening and that the change they want will start from day one.

“While we know that budgets will be tight, I will also be urging them to make the case to Treasury that investing in skills should be seen as part of the infrastructure spend, because without it, capital projects cannot be built and the benefits of them will be weaker. Investing in human capital is for the long term, with returns on that investment that should be measured differently to other revenue spending. This will be particularly important to free up resources for colleges to be able to support the industrial strategy that Labour has promised.

“Across the college sector, we are looking forward to working with the new ministers to help build a tertiary education system which is fair, efficient and effective, and meets the needs of 100% of the population.”

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.