Gordon Marsden MP, Labour’s Shadow Further Education and Skills Minister, responding to today’s UCU/UNISON survey revealing the prospects of job and course cuts at FE colleges across England, said:
"This survey of FE colleges is very worrying given the stark details of axed jobs and courses with potential students turned away. Here’s the evidence behind our previous warnings that the 25% cut in the FE Resource Grant would hit colleges Hard. With the scrapping of EMA, cut backs in fee remission and co-funding and other student support, Ministers risk sabotaging colleges' vital contribution to training, skills and economic growth.
"The new loans system this Tory-led Government is planning to force students over 24 to take on as they axe their fee support is very worrying too. It risks putting off thousands of young people in their 20s from going to college, denying them the skills they and we desperately need to get the economy moving again.
"Many of the extra apprenticeship places Ministers are promising will wither on the vine if colleges are forced to axe courses as young people can’t afford them or are fearful of the debt they will run up. Yet again, BIS Ministers find themselves presiding over chaos with young people the losers."