In May 2020 we launched the September Promise campaign, asking government to guarantee access to high quality education or training places to every young person who wants one.
We predict that half of the new labour market entrants (approximately 100,000 16 to 25 year olds) will struggle to find meaningful employment as the economic shocks of COVID19 continue to be felt.
There are likely to be fewer job and apprenticeship opportunities for school and college leavers and there will be major challenges in re-starting education and training after months of lockdown. In a depressed labour market, they will also be competing against recent graduates and more experienced staff who have lost their jobs.
Other recommendations from the Association of Colleges include:
- A national skills and retraining programme that brings together the adult education budget, national skills fund (due to start in 2021), national retraining scheme and shared prosperity fund into a coherent, easily managed and understandable fund that works for every adult, in every situation, in every community.
- Bringing forward some of the £1.5bn announced in the March 2020 budget for college capital investment so that it can be used to purchase IT equipment and software, as well as making necessary building modifications to embed a mixture of online and in person learning.