Principals across York, North Yorkshire and East Riding have come together to celebrate the work of Colleges across the region as part of Love our Colleges Week.
The week highlights the wonderful work colleges do and the need for long-term term investment in colleges and their students in the future.
In recent months the government has committed additional funding to colleges, which have dealt with an average of 30% cuts to funding over the last decade. Despite this challenging funding situation, Yorkshire colleges work at the heart of their local communities and economies, working with businesses, and providing education and training opportunities for many thousands of young people and adult learners across the region.
Kate Roe, Principal of Darlington College explained: “Colleges matter – to their students, their staff and their local communities. Our aim is for all our students to have skills and knowledge they need for a successful future career. Colleges Week not only highlights the need for proper investment to make this happen but also showcases the amazing places that our colleges are and the amazing things that students and staff achieve.
“This is a crucial time, the big contribution further education makes to society must be recognised and long-term investment is vital if we are to have the successful economy we need post-Brexit.”
David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said: “The £400m funding boost announced in the spending review and the Secretary of State’s speech at the Conservative Party conference showed that the government is committed to investing in further education and skills. However, there are many funding and policy challenges to grapple with to ensure colleges can thrive in the long term. Now more than ever we need highly skilled, well-educated workforces to deliver for our economy and country.
“Colleges Week this year is about celebrating the amazing work colleges do, educating 2.2 million people every year, including more than 600,000 16 to 18-year-olds. Colleges have been neglected in recent years and proper funding for adult education is still urgently needed. This week is about making our voices heard and campaigning with partners to make sure colleges continue to be a serious political, economic and social priority.”