Peter Aldous speaks in a debate on the impact of increases in the cost of living on further and higher education students and calls on the Chancellor to allocate £400 million additional revenue funding to the further education sector to both address the problems facing the sector and also alleviate the particular challenges facing FE students.
Peter Aldous campaigns for more funding for Sixth Forms and Colleges and is a Vice Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Sixth Form Education.
The APPG has written to the Chancellor setting out our recommendations.
The recommendations are:
- Introduce a dedicated capital expansion fund for sixth form providers
- Raise the rate of funding for sixth form students to at least £4,760 per year
- Extend the teachers' pay grant to sixth form colleges
- Introduce a capital maintenance fund for dedicated sixth form providers
- Introduce a VAT refund scheme for sixth form colleges
Peter Aldous highlights the challenges facing the FE sector; such as the rising number of 16 and 17-year-olds, rising costs, and the workforce crisis and calls on the Government to ensure that the 2023-24 funding rate keeps up with inflation, allow colleges to reclaim VAT and ensure that 50% of the apprenticeship levy is spent on apprentices at levels 2 and 3, below the age of 25.
Peter Aldous calls on the Treasury to work with other Government Departments to ensure that the Lifelong Learning Bill gets rid of barriers preventing people on lower incomes from acquiring the new skills necessary for them to get better-paid jobs.
Speaking in the Third Reading debate, Peter Aldous welcomes the Government’s efforts to enable people to realise their full potential through lifelong learning, but calls for the measures in this Bill to be part of a wider, coherent post-16 education and skills strategy.
Peter Aldous welcomes the lifelong loan entitlement and Government’s acknowledgement of the need for maintenance support for adult learners, but calls for a clear pathway for those who do not yet have level 3 qualifications, such as A-levels, to participate in this initiative.
Peter Aldous backs a Bill that makes it easier for adults to secure student loans for shorter courses and study flexibly over their lifetime which will help address the skills crisis, eliminate the productivity gap and give more people the opportunity to realise their full potential.
Peter Aldous leads a Westminster Hall debate to celebrate Colleges Week and the work that colleges do in local communities and highlight the problems facing the sector in funding, staff recruitment and retention and the speed of the Government’s reforms to level 3 qualifications.
At the start of the new Parliamentary session, Peter Aldous speaks in the debate on the Queen’s Speech and outlines the areas where he believes the Government needs to focus; more targeted assistance to help people with the cost of living crisis, helping everyone realise their full potential, address the challenges in energy supply and the transition to net zero, and reduce NHS waiting lists and the lack of NHS dentists.
Peter Aldous calls on the Government to ensure that colleges are properly resourced so they can deliver on the aims of the Bill and urges the Government to consider amendments that would put the lifetime skills guarantee on a statutory footing, and reform universal credit conditions so that people in receipt of universal credit can more easily access education and training.