College backs AoC’s asks of incoming government

26th February 2024

Solihull College & University Centre and Stratford-upon-Avon College are backing the Association of Colleges (AoC) in their asks of the incoming government this Colleges Week.

With the general election due within the next year, this is an important time to communicate what colleges across the sector need to help meet the challenges society is facing, including the threat of recession, stagnating growth and productivity, and ever-widening skills gaps across the economy.

Tackling these, and building an economy fit for the future will require bold action, and a cohesive education and skills training system, set up and supported to deliver for people, businesses and for communities.

Colleges have the potential to contribute immensely in tackling these issues, but need the proper support of government to fully utilise the power of further education.

Principal Rebecca Gater with students
College Principal Dr Rebecca Gater (Left) with members of the Student Exec team

The AoC has stated that we need a system in which:

Every young person and adult will be supported to attain and maintain the skills they will need throughout their lives

Every employer is supported to innovate, improve productivity and develop their workforce to have the skills needed in the transition to a green and flourishing economy

Every community boasts of post-16 learning opportunities which meet the needs of all their citizens through an ecosystem of learning organisations delivering a coherent, diverse and compelling set of opportunities for people to learn and train

Colleges are recognised, regulated and funded to play the unique roles that only they can play in providing a truly comprehensive set of learning, training and education opportunities to people of all ages and at all levels whilst supporting employers to innovate and grow.

Education and training will be crucial in addressing further challenges including an ageing population, climate change, digitalisation, and economic growth and productivity.

College Principal, Dr Rebecca Gater, comments: “We need the incoming government to understand and fully support colleges to help address the challenges that face us all. A properly funded Further Education sector at the heart of government strategy will be vital to the success of the UK over the coming years. We fully support the AoC’s policy recommendations as part of their ‘Opportunities England’ campaign.”

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