Magazine article Public Finance

Government's Skills Proposals Criticised by Education Leaders

Magazine article Public Finance

Government's Skills Proposals Criticised by Education Leaders

Article excerpt

College leaders have warned that ministers' investment plans for training and skills programmes next year amount to spending cuts.

Funding for skills programmes will total £4.4bn under the government's Skills Investment Strategy 20 Í0/ 11. It would usher in a significant rebalancing of priorities towards programmes that offer training to long-term unemployed people, particularly those aged between 18-24.

But the Association of Colleges highlighted cuts totalling £129m (7.5%) to other adult learning budgets. This included the Skills for Life budget, which equips adults with literacy, numeracy and IT skills. Funding has been reassigned to support a growth in apprenticeships and the Train to Gain programme.

AoC chief executive Martin Doel said: 'To call this an "investment strategy" is somewhat misleading since it embodies significant savings.

'These savings do represent cuts - particularly to the rates of funding for certain courses - at a time when the services of colleges have never been more in demand. …

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