Below is the text of the comments made by Kate Green, the Shadow Secretary of State for Education, on 9 July 2020.
Any new support for further education is welcome, but it’s a bit rich for the government to complain about a crisis in FE that they themselves have created. Funding has been slashed by billions of pounds and support for learners scrapped.
Repeated speeches from the Secretary of State calling for a German-style system are no replacement for the investment the sector needs. Attempts to set up further and higher education against each other are damaging and counterproductive. Everyone in post-16 education will tell you what’s needed is collaboration across both sectors to maximise opportunities for lifelong learning so people can develop new skills and have fulfilling lives.
It is time for the government to move beyond the empty rhetoric and give post-16 education the investment it needs.