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Further Education & Higher Education

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Further Education and Lifelong Learning
With automation and the Green Industrial Revolution bringing major changes to industry, it is more important than ever that people have the opportunity to retrain and upskill throughout their lives.

Under the Tories, adult education has undergone 10 years of managed decline. England already faces a shortage of people with higher-level technical qualifications, and demand for these skills will only grow as we create new green jobs.

Instead of investing in people to prepare them for the jobs of the future, the Conservatives have slashed funding and cut opportunities.

Labour will ensure fairness and sustainability in further education, aligning the base rate of per-pupil funding in post-16 education with Key Stage 4, providing dedicated capital funding to expand provision and bringing back the Education Maintenance Allowance as the Welsh Labour Government has done.

Labour will make lifelong learning a reality, giving everyone a free lifelong entitlement to:

Training up to Level 3
Six years training at Levels 4-6, with maintenance grants for disadvantaged

We will introduce additional entitlements for workers in industries that are significantly affected by industrial transition.

We will make sure training delivers the right skills by giving employers a role in co-design and co-production of qualifications.

We will restore funding for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses and restore and expand the Union Learning Fund, giving workers the right to accrue paid time off for education and training.

Labour will reform existing careers advice, working towards an integrated information, advice and guidance system that covers the entire NES.

We will reverse the fragmentation and privatisation of further and adult education, incorporating it into a single national system of regulation that functions for education as our NHS does for healthcare provision.

Higher Education
Under the Tories, universities are treated as private businesses, left at the mercy of market forces, while top salaries soar and students pay more for less. Tuition fees have trebled and maintenance grants have been scrapped, leaving the poorest graduates with an average debt of £57,000.

Labour will end the failed free-market experiment in higher education, abolish tuition fees and bring back maintenance grants. We will fundamentally rethink the assessment of research and teaching quality, and develop a new funding formula for higher education that:

Ensures all public HE institutions have adequate funding for teaching and research.
Widens access to higher education and reverses the decline of part-time learning.
Ends the casualisation of staff.

We will transform the Office for Students from a market regulator to a body of the National Education Service, acting in the public interest.

We will introduce post-qualification admissions in higher education, and work with universities to ensure contextual admissions are used across the system.


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