ATL comment on future of further education
Responding to Professor Alison Wolfs warning about the future of further education, Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said:
“We hope the Government takes notice of Professor Wolf’s warning that further education is reaching a crisis which will have dire consequences for hundreds of thousands of young people, businesses up and down the country that rely on the skills FE colleges provide, and those working in the sector.
“If the Government’s planned 24% cuts go ahead, we fear 400,000 young people will lose out on a college place. Where are the skilled workers of the future going to come from? Cuts to the FE budget have already led to 420 redundancies being announced at colleges in Birmingham alone.
“About 40% of pupils do not currently get five GCSEs at grades A*-C, and the numbers will be higher with even more young people needing to re-take their GCSEs when the new, harder system is introduced from September. But where will they be able to do these retakes if there are no FE places?
“Professor Wolf is right to say that we should be very alarmed about the cuts to FE. And she is right to say that if vocational training is not funded, it will have a knock-on effect on the economy. This is why ATL members, along with those from other unions and the NUS, lobbied parliament against the FE cuts last Tuesday (16 June).