This week the Principle and CEO of Barking and Dagenham College contacted Jon Cruddas MP with details of the economic recovery plan laid out by the Association of Colleges (AoC). The plan is called REBUILD: A skills led recovery and it sets out a clear directive to support workers and students, providing new opportunities to create employment and learning infrastructure.

Jon Cruddas commented: “there are over 4000 residents across Dagenham and Rainham currently learning in colleges within the constituency, or ones nearby. Over the last few months the way we live and work has changed dramatically and as we ease out of lockdown into the ‘new normal’, colleges will play a vital role training the next generation of nursing professionals, digital experts, engineers and so on.”

The Further Education sector, in this instance the AoC, has identified four key areas that will likely pose a challenge as the economic recovery begins, which include more 16-25 year olds seeking college places due to unemployment, many young people needing catch-up learning after months of lockdown, less apprenticeship places, and adults needing support to retrain and move between sectors.

The REBUILD plan is calling on Government to RETAIN, RELAUNCH and RETRAIN. These translate as a confirmed and fully funded high quality education or training place for every young person (16-18), extended skills based training programmes alongside increased apprenticeships and traineeships – all underpinned by a Government bursary system, and an easy to access funding pot for adults to retrain.

Jon Cruddas MP has given support to the skills based economic recovery model and has written to the Chancellor and Secretary of State for Education urging them to consider the measures outlined in the REBUILD document. The full document can be found HERE

Jon added: “whilst many will return to work in the coming weeks there will be some that find themselves without work. Increased local opportunities to retrain and develop new skills could make all the difference for these residents.

“We also have to consider those leaving school and entering into a world of work very different from the one they were prepared for just three months ago. The vocational training and extended learning being proposed by the AoC must form part of the discussion around our economic recovery, and I will be urging the Government to take these suggestions on board.”

You can find Jon's letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer in full HERE