Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivers Spring Budget to Parliament - AoC responds

03 Mar 2021

Responding the Chancellor's second budget in Parliament, Chief Executive of Association of Colleges, David Hughes said:

“Today’s budget was always going to be a tightrope, getting the balance right between restoring the public finances and supporting people and businesses through tough and uncertain times and between the short term priorities and the longer term. The extension of financial measures announced today support the cautious approach to easing the lockdown announced last month.   

I’m pleased to see further investment in the apprenticeship and traineeship incentives, underpinning the Chancellor’s commitment to investing in skills and education for the long term. It is crucial that unemployed young people and adults can gain new skills which will help them secure and retain good work. Young people leaving education this year will have missed out on their education during the last year and they will face tough times in the labour market. I look forward to seeing further investment in education recovery in the coming weeks. That will be essential to build back fairer as well as better. 

The recent Skills for Jobs White Paper could be a game-changer for post-18 education and skills and a catalyst for so many of the ambitions this government has to get people into secure jobs that meet the needs of a much-changed labour market. To achieve this, it is crucial that measures like Kickstart, bootcamps, traineeships and college programmes are aligned and funding simplified. The programmes currently do not work well together, are confusing to employers and will not work effectively for many unemployed people. The key thing now is to join up jobs and skills initiatives to allow as many people as possible to benefit from them quickly.”

You can read the full details of the budget here.