- Luke Pollard MP has backed the Association of Colleges plan for a skills led recovery
- The Association of Colleges represents City College Plymouth, in Luke’s patch
- Luke Pollard: “Colleges across Plymouth face an unprecedented challenge to meet the skills needs of the upcoming cohort of young people to prevent a lost generation”
Luke Pollard, the MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, has backed plans for skills led recovery from the Coronavirus crisis.
City College Plymouth and the Association of Colleges have laid out a plan to rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic, which is set to cause one of the largest economic shocks encountered in recent years.
Apprenticeship starts have declined rapidly since March. 60% of employers have stopped all new apprenticeship starts since the pandemic began and 75% of them have stopped at least 80% of starts normally expected at this time of year.
Colleges already face an estimated £115m shortfall for the current academic year and a dramatic £2Bn reduction in funding predicted for 2020-21. An estimated 15 – 20% of colleges and training providers are already considering making redundancies to balance the books.
Luke Pollard said:
“Colleges and training providers across Plymouth face an unprecedented challenge to meet the skills needs of the upcoming cohort of young people to prevent a lost generation.
“In September, a new cohort of students are likely to face a brutal job market. The AoC’s plan calls for modifications to the apprenticeship programme and a suite of work-based learning programmes to reflect the fact that there may be fewer firms in a position to recruit new apprentices.
“Under the current funding arrangements, Colleges may not have the funds to cater for all the students that arrive through their doors in September, because of the funding lag which funds colleges based on the previous year’s student numbers. This is particularly true for Plymouth and the far South West, which has seen a shortfall on education funding under this Conservative government.
“Government should engage with the sector and with the opposition to ensure a package urgently that reassures Colleges about their finances, staves off job losses and ensures we have an FE sector ready and able to step forward in our nation’s hour of need.”
This REBUILD plan will support 750,000 people, every community and thousands of
employers through the recovery period and to minimise long term economic
RETAIN: every young person (16 to 18) has a confirmed high-quality education or
training place, funded to meet their needs and the learning they have lost. Funding
needs to be flexible enough to allow students to start throughout the year and to
support colleges adapting to the ‘new normal’
RELAUNCH: a suite of employment related, skills-based training programmes
including extended traineeships and apprenticeships, that accommodate work
experience and jobs, underpinned by a comprehensive bursary system and
government incentives to employers;
RETRAIN: one, easy to access, funding pot to provide training for adults who have
been made redundant, flexibly and from intense short courses all of the way to
higher technical and professional qualifications.
RESOURCE: release 20 per cent of current £1.5bn capital fund for IT equipment,
software and building modification in Autumn 2020 and funding for transport and
the additional staffing required.
REVIEW: simplification of the funding rates and rules colleges work to in order to
have the flexibilities to meet demand.