In the week the Prime Minister signalled her intention for the UK to leave the single market, Bristol South MP Karin Smyth is calling on the government to give greater priority to adult education.
In a joint letter to Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Robert Halfon MP, she backs a campaign which would see a return to widespread ‘night schools’ as part of a greater government commitment to adult education.
Government figures indicate there are around 1.5 million fewer adults aged 19 or over participating in further education than between 2007 and 2008, when the figure was 3.75 million.
The letter, signed by 61 MPs, calls on the government to outline when an adult education strategy will be published. It calls for “a national strategy that works across departments in recognition of the huge range of beneficial outcomes that adult education has for individuals, our economy and society in general”.
Karin Smyth MP added: “The potential of adult education to help re-train and develop our workforce – helping to plug the skills gap here in south Bristol – is clearer than ever now that we face leaving the single market.
“It’s vital the government takes urgent steps to show that Ministers understand the impact of their Brexit strategy upon people in south Bristol and across the UK, helping them re-train or return to work as we adapt to a changing jobs market.”
The letter to the Apprenticeships and Skills Minister can be read in full using this link