We’re supporting the Mind the Skills Gap campaign, which has been launched by the Future Skills Coalition. Along with colleges across the country, we are urging Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to increase funding to technical education in the upcoming spring statement.
College finances remain below what they were in 2010, according to economics think tank The Institute for Fiscal Studies. Funding cuts mean spending per pupil in 2024 – 25 will still be around 5% below 2010-11 levels and for adult students it is 22% below 2009-10 levels.
Nottingham College is an avid supporter of this national campaign. Our large size means that cuts like this are amplified for our college which serves more than 20,000 young people and adults every year.
There’s no doubt that colleges provide the answer to the serious skills shortages faced by our regional economy and across the country. For us to be able to effectively and proportionately respond to the rapid growth in vacancies within the health and social care sector, as well as plan for the need for green skills and evolving digital skills, we need investment. Not only to develop college facilities and equipment, but to train and develop our staff and recruit specialists from industry to help develop the courses and deliver the training that employers need now and in the future.— Janet Smith, Principal and CEO of Nottingham College.
According to the Office for National Statistics, job vacancies are at near record levels of over one million, with businesses struggling to fill important posts, reducing their ability to grow, and in turn hampering the health of the local and national economy.
Mind the Skills Gap aims to highlight the important role colleges like ours play in giving people the skills they need to enter these often-specialised jobs.
- As one of the largest FE colleges in the UK, we offer relevant courses and training programmes that help to address specific skills gaps identified in the local economy. This includes vocational courses, apprenticeships, work-based learning programmes, the widest range of study options for school leavers in the region as well as online and distance learning courses for adults looking to retrain or up-skill.
- Through our great links with employers, we help to ensure that students are acquiring the skills and knowledge required to enter the workplace.
- By engaging with industry partners through our Industry Advisory Boards, we work in collaboration with employers to ensure we stay informed about emerging skills gaps and changes in the local economy.
The Future Skills Coalition is supported by organisations including the Association of Colleges, the Association of Employment and Learning Providers and City and Guilds. Together they have outlined three priorities to tackle the problem:
- A right to lifelog learning
- Fair, accessible and effective funding and,
- A national strategy to support local, inclusive growth