The Sheffield College is calling on the government to prioritise further education sector funding, as part of a national awareness week.
Colleges Week 2021 highlights the work that further education colleges do to transform lives through learning, support businesses and build communities.
The theme for Colleges Week, from October 18th to 22nd, is ‘Get in, go further’. The aim is to showcase what colleges do on a daily basis and celebrate the impact that the FE sector has on students, inspiring them to go further in their careers.
Ahead of the Spending Review 2021, further education chiefs are also lobbying for long-term investment in colleges to be a priority if the government is to ‘level up’ all areas of the country.
Angela Foulkes, Chief Executive and Principal, The Sheffield College, said: “The big contribution that the further education sector will make to the country’s economic rebuild must be recognised and to maximise our impact, we need funding stability.”
She explained: “Prioritising investment is vital to ensure that we can boost businesses, build communities and support the thousands of young people and adults who rely on colleges to go further in their careers.
“Colleges need long-term investment to enable our students to benefit from high quality technical and academic learning, regardless of their background or where they live, and to address urgent challenges including skills shortages, training workers for the jobs of the future and climate change.”
She added: “As part of that, adult learners must be a high priority so that they can re-train as part of the pandemic skills-led recovery to continue to gain higher level skills over their lifetime and support business growth and the local economy.”
David Hughes, Chief Executive, Association of Colleges, said: “Colleges Week showcases exactly why further education holds the answers to some of the biggest issues facing all of us. Now more than ever we need highly skilled and well-educated workforces to deliver the economic recovery this government aspires to.”
He added: “Colleges Week this year is about celebrating the amazing work colleges do, educating 2.2 million people every year, including more than 600,000 16 to 18-year-olds.
"They hold the key to reducing skills gaps, combatting inequality, and providing better opportunities to disadvantaged communities. This week is about making our voices heard and campaigning with partners to make sure colleges continue to be a serious political, economic and social priority.”
The Sheffield College provides academic, vocational and professional qualifications to around 14,000 young people and adults and offers a broad curriculum that includes apprenticeships, vocational diplomas, A Levels, access courses, and foundation and honours degrees.
Find out more about our next open days taking place on October 21st.
Image credit: Helena Dolby