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Investment we make in young people is very low compared to other countries

20 May 2019

In response to today's report by the Social Mobility Commission, David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said: “The Social Mobility Commission report has challenging findings for the education system about the prospects and achievements of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. For far too long the importance of funding for further education has been overlooked, despite the fact that nearly 700,000 young people are learning in colleges on a daily basis. The investment we make in the skills of young people is very low compared with other countries, meaning that opportunities to learn are often limited and they are more likely to have insecure jobs without training and development opportunities. "The SMC supports our calls for better investment in colleges, and recommends an increase to 16-18 funding with a particular focus on disadvantaged young people by extending the pupil premium. Treasury and DfE should carefully consider these recommendations because they echo similar calls from many other reports and institutions, including employers groups such as the CBI. The case is so strong now, we simply are awaiting the Treasury to acknowledge and respond in the spending review this year.”