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Conservative Party launch election manifesto - AoC responds

27 April 2020

Today (Sunday 24 November) Boris Johnson unveiled the Conservative's full plans for education and training, at the launch of their general election manifesto. Chief Executive, David Hughes said: “I welcome the Conservative Party reference to the vital role colleges play in society and to the plans to invest in the training and skills of adult. The pledge to make colleges ‘excellent places to learn’ is backed by long overdue capital investment of £2billion which will make a big impact. This attitude to colleges, skills and retraining will be vital in creating an education system that is fit for the future and which supports a more inclusive economy. I am worried, though, that there is no commitment to raise the funding for 16 to 18 year olds beyond the very modest increase announced in September. Neither is there mention of the sustainable investment needed across all of post-16 education and skills, including apprenticeships. The National Skills Fund has real potential but will not be enough on its own given the severe cuts to adult learning budgets and the pressures on funding for apprenticeships for SMEs and young people. Nonetheless, the Conservative Party has joined the other major parties in this election campaign in promising big increases in college investment. Colleges already support over 2.2 million people every year, but could do so much more with the increased investment promised in this election so far. If followed through, by whichever government comes to power, this is a huge step in the right direction which we are ready to support in helping to make lifelong learning and opportunities for all a reality.” You can read the full manifesto here.