College bosses have described planned cuts to adult education as likely to “decimate” training for careers such as nurses and social workers.
Milton Keynes College principal Julie Mills has joined a chorus of criticism led by the Association of Colleges (AoC), which represents further education and sixth form colleges across the country.
And Dr Mills claims the government’s planned 24 per cent cut to next year’s adult education budget will mean 500 fewer courses in Milton Keynes.
She said: “Every year hundreds of adults students come to this college to retrain for a new job, whether it’s due to redundancy or wanting a change in career.
“We need to have enough funding if we want to continue our support of these people.”
Martin Doel, chief executive of the AoC, added: “We’re living in an ever-changing society in which people do not keep to the same career path for their whole lives.
“These people need the options of returning to education or undertaking training.
“Adult education and training is effectively being decimated. It is too important to be lost and these cuts could mean an end to the vital courses that train people such as nurses and social care workers.”
As part of its manifesto to the post-election government, the AoC is calling for greater equality in the education system by introducing education accounts for all students aged 19 and over. The government, individuals and employers could contribute to these accounts to ensure that all adult students, whether studying at university or college, have equivalent access to loans and grants.