It is sadly no surprise to hear yet another lament about the state of the UK’s technical education system following the closure of a seventh university technical college (Editorial, 20 February). Successive governments have failed to really get to grips with vocational education because the people who make the decisions have little direct experience of it, and this has led to a devastating lack of investment in the sector.
In England, students aged 16-19 on technical courses attract less than half the funding of their peers in higher education – and those aged 19 and over on technical courses get even less. Following a series of budget cuts to colleges since 2009, well over a million adult learners have been lost as courses have been forced to close. If the government really wants to improve the standing of good-quality technical education, it must ensure that the sector as a whole is well supported. That means building capacity; UCU is calling for 15,000 more further education teachers which would support over 250,000 more learners. Without proper investment, this perennial conversation about the problems facing technical education is doomed to repeat itself
General secretary, University and College Union
The neglectful bias against vocational training | Letters © Guardian News & Media Ltd