Institute for Learning
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IfL responds to spending review
The Institute for Learning (IfL) has responded to the chancellor’s spending review announcements.
IfL’s chief executive, Toni Fazaeli, said, “It is good that the government has listened and is extending traineeships to 19 to 24-year-olds, but we are worried about further cuts to provision for this age group, as highlighted in the spending review equalities assessment. Given the very high rate of unemployment for young people in this age group, education and training should be given top priority as an investment in the future. IfL thinks that extending loans would not be sensible, given the uncertainty about whether the 24+ advanced learning loans can work.
“Our members working in Esol provision need proper resourcing and support to deliver the chancellor’s in-welfare reform for claimants needing English language training, which we hope will not be at the expense of learning opportunities for other adults. We trust that consultations will be accessible to teaching and training professionals, and will take place to a measured timescale of many weeks over the summer.
“IfL welcomes the chancellor’s commitment to investment in the nation’s infrastructure and his recognition that ‘we need intellectual infrastructure and capital too’, but deeply regrets that this does not extend to investments in the intellectual capital in further education. The economy sorely needs investment in expert teaching and training to generate more skilled young people and adults for growth and competitiveness, and with more than a million young people not in employment, education or training, a 6 per cent cut to the BIS budget – including a reduction of £260m in further education – does not make sense.”