Association of Colleges has responded to a pre-budget skills and education funding announcement (made on Saturday 23 October 2021) from the Treasury which promises investment in a "skills revolution".
AoC is the national voice for England's colleges, our members educate and train 2.2 million people across the country every year.
David Hughes, Chief Executive, Association of Colleges said:
“Every sector has been waiting for the CSR with bated breath. With so many competing economic challenges, it was always going to be tough for the Chancellor, so it is encouraging to see increased investment in skills and education.
The Prime Minister has led the way with strong and promising rhetoric around levelling up and investing in young people as well as adults, so it’s good to see those words backed up with money.
We always expected the increased funding wouldn’t go far enough, but in the circumstances we view this as a good start in a tough spending round. That the Chancellor is leading with this announcement in advance of the CSR shows just how far we’ve come in making the government recognise the importance of investing in people to close the skills gap.
As an optimist, I am hopeful that the lack of mention of education recovery is because of a significant announcement on Wednesday at the dispatch box.
At the Association of Colleges, we have been clear that it is going to take at least £300 million per year to support education recovery for 16-to-19-year-olds. They have had the biggest disruption at a critical time in their lives and studies, but now have the least amount of time left in education and training to catch up.
The entire college sector will be watching on Wednesday to see whether the government invests in their learning and skills to help them level up.”