Collab Group on Chancellor Statement

“The statement from the Chancellor today was a sobering reminder of the challenges facing the UK economy. The OBR forecasts that the economy will contract by 11.3% this year and unemployment will rise to 7.5% in the second quarter of next year.

The scope of spending commitments reflected the scale of the challenge. It is therefore right that the Chancellor is taking robust measures to protect people’s jobs and incomes and lay the foundations for a broader economic recovery.

Collab Group believes that colleges will be critical to returning the UK to prosperity and to “build back better”. The Chancellor today highlighted investments in further education, the Kickstart programme, the Lifetime Skills Guarantee, traineeships, Sector-based work academies and other skills-based initiatives. Investment in further education and skills will be critical to support people back into work. It does, appear, however, that these initiatives represent commitments made in the Conservatives 2019 manifesto, or in the Chancellors Summer Statement, rather than new Government spending.

The announcement of the £2.9 billion Restart scheme to help more than a million people year find jobs is welcome as is the increased support of £1.4 billion to increase the capacity of Jobcentre Plus. We believe that colleges are well placed to work with DWP locally to support people into work.

Tomorrow, Collab Group will publish a report setting out how colleges can support economic recovery efforts. We are enthusiastic about working with our members, partners, and government, to leverage the insight, expertise and capabilities of colleges to boost employment across the UK.”

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