Responding to the UK government's Skills for Jobs White Paper published today (21st January) Salsabil Elmegri, NUS Vice President for Further Education, said –
“A lifelong learning loan is a very positive step in creating an education system that is truly lifelong, accessible and funded. But if we are to allow people to upskill and retrain for the new economy, we need to increase availability of maintenance funding for students and provide grants for learning.
“Proposals around targeting funding towards ‘high-quality’ education will need to be looked at in detail and the government must recognise the contribution that students in all forms of education make to society. Many students will go on to start their own businesses and help to reboot our economy. It would also be telling if this government has chosen to prioritise subjects that tend to be male-dominated.
“It is disappointing that the government has chosen to put employers right at the centre of this plan but have found no place for those most integral to our education system – the students themselves. Student voice is essential for creating an education system that works for all, and this is a missed opportunity to promote that.”