Commenting on today’s announcement by Government on skills and lifelong learning, Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:

“These steps to prevent loss of apprenticeships and support adults returning to study are welcome. But this is not 'building back better', it is simply building back from the cuts to the Further Education sector since 2010. As the Education Secretary notes, productivity is only 4% higher than in 2008. Major reinvestment is needed to reverse the 50% cuts to adult learning and cuts to college funding, pay and learner entitlements. It is not being churlish or carping to question whether, so far, this really is 'building back better.”