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Chancellor sets out Summer Economic Statement - AoC responds

08 July 2020

Chief Executive David Hughes has responded to today's fiscal statement set out by Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak: "The Chancellor has served up a raft of actions and investments which show his commitment to facing up to the economic crisis we are now entering. We asked for bold action, and in many ways the Chancellor has delivered. However, we need to see more of the details and vitally how this all fits together, particularly how education and skills provision are part of the package, particularly within the kickstart scheme and for adults. For young people, for adults, for advisers and for employers the range of incentives are potentially bewildering. We will work with colleges and with DfE and DWP to make this more coherent, so that the incentives work for the widest range of people and employers in all circumstances. It is disappointing that there was little for adult education today. Despite the Chancellor’s bonus to retain furloughed workers, we expect many to be facing redundancy in the autumn. For that group and unemployed adults we wanted to see a stronger package of training to help them be successful in a very different post-pandemic labour market. Their needs are different to young people, with funding needed for more intensive training, higher level skills, and support to move sector. Beyond this, we remain deeply concerned about the financial health of colleges. College leaders will need certainty that the right rules, regulations and funding will be in place to flexibly support young people, adults and employers to get what they need. Colleges are vital parts of the infrastructure which is needed to ensure the success of these packages, and particularly to reach all parts of the country and every community. You can read the full fiscal statement here.