William Eichler 04 September 2023

County leaders call for ‘adult education revolution’

County leaders call for ‘adult education revolution’  image
Image: Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.com.

County council leaders have urged the Government to ‘fast track’ devolution deals to help boost the number of people taking part in adult education and apprenticeships.

The number of adults taking part in adult education, training, traineeships, and apprenticeships in county areas last year dropped by almost 200,000 people – a fall of 19% – compared to 2018, according to the County Councils Network (CCN).

The CCN called on the Government to fast track the devolution agenda in order to give county areas the powers they need to boost training at the local level and kick-start an ‘adult education revolution’.

Cllr Tim Oliver, chairman of the CCN, said: ‘Despite clear evidence showing the benefits of adult education and the government’s efforts to improve numbers, there has been a half-decade of decline in participation in England’s counties, with the number of people falling by a fifth over the last five years: contributing to the present skills and labour shortages in many local areas.

‘Well-intentioned national reforms, such as the Apprenticeship Levy, are no longer working, having failed to address the decline in apprenticeships. We need all hands to the pump to kick-start the economy, and we are calling for an adult education revolution where powers are devolved to local areas so we can devise local solutions to local challenges.’

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