Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said: "ATL had hoped that the further education (FE) and skills sector would not face any further budget cuts in the coming year, however today's announcement makes it clear that this will not be the case.
"With funding decreasing by 25% in 2015-16, how can the sector possibly "continue to pursue the programme of reform that Government have focused on and promote and support the delivery of high quality apprenticeships that meet the needs of the economy", as the Secretary of State requests?
"FE has borne the brunt of a massive reduction in funding, particularly for education and training for over 19-year-olds, which makes it harder for unemployed young people to acquire the skills they need to get a job.
"This looks like nothing less than a deliberate attempt to destroy the sector. The Government should get its priorities right and help vulnerable young adults to get into work. It needs to stop wasting money on school places where they are not needed and focus attention on a sector that provides vital education and training for adults; it has already been battered by excessive cuts."
Notes to editors
- The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) is an independent, registered trade union and professional association, representing approximately 170,000 teachers, headteachers, lecturers and support staff in maintained and independent nurseries, schools, sixth form, tertiary and further education colleges in the United Kingdom.
- ATL exists to help members, as their careers develop, through first rate research, advice, information and legal advice.
- ATL is affiliated to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and Education International (EI). ATL is not affiliated to any political party and seeks to work constructively with all the main political parties.