New deal for skills and colleges is the next step on the UK’s road to recovery

28 Sep 2020

Association of Colleges has set out the sector’s priorities for the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review. Along with the CSR, the upcoming FE white paper offers a once in a generation opportunity for the Government to place colleges at the heart of our society and economy for the recovery and beyond.


Today’s paper calls for Treasury to launch a Plan for Skills to build on the focus in recent months on jobs. There are immediate actions proposed for disadvantaged communities, apprentices and ensuring education continues smoothly in 2020-1 – to help young people and adults succeed as well as meet future workforce needs.


Proposals in AoC’s spending review submission include:

  • a Plan for Skills which builds on this year’s plan for jobs. 
  • Immediate action to close the digital poverty divide and a stronger support package for students leaving education.
  • A long term further education strategy, with college business centres supporting employers through expert advice and delivery on skills. 

Colleges are perfectly placed to offer the education and training we need for a strong recovery from the pandemic and to rebuild for a successful future. Our proposals provide colleges with the investment they need, releasing them to deliver so much more to support people, places and productivity.


David Hughes, Chief Executive of Association of Colleges said:

"The Chancellor has made bold decisions with his jobs and business support schemes which were important in the early stages of the pandemic. What we are asking for now is ambitious actions, resolve and investment in our people to help rebuild and renew the economy.  


Our proposals for a skills-led recovery ensure no one is left behind and training and reskilling opportunities are in sync with growth sectors like Health, Construction, Digital and the Green Economy. Now is the time to enable colleges to support the economy, people and communities to get the country back on its feet.”


You can read the full submission here