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We need the government and employers to step up on adult skills, says AoC

27 May 2024

Adult education

David Hughes, Chief Executive, Association of Colleges, said:

“This Learning and Work Institute report shines a light on how the long-term underinvestment in skills in the UK is inhibiting economic growth. Government investment has dropped significantly in the last 14 years at the same time as people are needing more opportunities to train and adapt to changing job needs and when employers are finding it increasingly difficult to find skilled applicants when they try to recruit. The report also highlights the low base of employer investment in workforce skills compared to our competitor countries. This was identified by the current government over a decade ago but under their stewardship it has got worse since then.

“With colleges reporting long waiting lists of adults who are wanting to retrain or upskill, we urgently need a boost in investment from government and for employers to step up too. Without investment in our FE colleges, the skills gaps employers are grappling with won’t be filled, we will let down a whole cohort of adults who are willing and wanting to return to education or training and economic growth will continue to be inhibited.”