There are many issues involving disadvantage people in rural areas. In response to today’s report from the Select Committee on the Rural Economy, Julian Gravatt, Deputy Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said:
“Transport is a major barrier for young people wanting to access education and training after the age of 16, particularly as they have been cuts to bus services.
“Colleges already do provide support for young people with transport, but the issue isn’t so much co-ordination as funding. DfE’s 16-to-18 bursary budget hasn’t changed since 2011 despite inflation which means that it is worth 15% less in real-terms than it was at the start of the decade.
“Apprenticeships for people living in rural areas and towns will be a big issue in the coming months. The priority in the funding system given to larger levy-paying employers means that colleges face the prospect of turning away apprenticeship demand from small companies in the next 12 months.”