An extra £500m of investment into Further Education from 2019 has been announced by the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond.
The extra funding will provide 16-19-year-olds with additional training hours that will match the investment in training by many other countries. In the UK the current 600 hours per year will rise to 900, providing young people with the necessary technical skills to be successful within the workplace and boost productivity.
Adult Education & Lifelong Learning
The reforms announced will also see the extension of maintenance loans to students on higher education courses at levels 4-6 in national colleges and Institutes of Technology and a pilot scheme to test new approaches to lifelong learning.
In response on the Learning and Work Institute website, Stephen Evans, Chief Executive said:
“…The next step is providing the investment needed to help Britain’s working age population meet the challenges facing it. An ageing population, longer working lives and poor productivity require a thriving and dynamic adult education system, yet we now have 1 million fewer adults in learning than in 2010.
The announcement of a new £40 million fund to test new approaches to lifelong learning shows that the government recognises that retraining and upskilling is essential throughout people’s working lives…"
David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges (AOC), responded on FE Week highlighting the importance to support adults:
"The Chancellor is right to highlight the need to improve productivity, address regional inequalities and help adults re-train and learn new skills. There will not be enough young people entering the labour market to meet the potentially widening skills gaps and shortages. Finding ways to support adults is a crucial component of our education system and it is a woefully under-funded and overlooked need.
The extension of maintenance loans to adults on pre-degree part-time skills courses is essential to widen access and I look forward to helping the Government design and deliver the pilots for lifelong learning.
Our collective challenge is to find ways to stimulate demand for learning amongst adults and then be creative about how we can offer opportunities in ways which fit in with peoples’ lives and work."
The Spring Budget will be annouced on 8 March 2017.