This year, against the backdrop of a changing economy, Brexit, and now the urgency of the corona crisis, it is clear more than ever before that we need our FE sector to be at the centre of social and economic recovery.
The Prime Minister’s speech sets out a welcome step towards achieving this. Supporting adults towards their first level 3 qualification will enable those furthest from the labour market to upskill and gain meaningful employment. We also welcome the refocus towards lifetime learning and flexible funding for FE and HE so that adults and young people can reskill into sustainable jobs fit for the future.
However, we need to see government match this ambition with pace and urgency. Our recent report ‘Our plan for FE’ calls for the FE sector to receive critical attention, and more importantly for urgent investment and funding that has so long been denied it. To be sustainable, it must be fair to people from all backgrounds, for employers to be meaningfully engaged and for collaboration to be at the heart of the system.
To echo the conclusion from our recent ‘Future of FE discussion’, the time is ripe for FE to be ‘bigger, better and bolder’ and we look forward to supporting this important mission.
Alice Barnard, Chief Executive, Edge Foundation