The government has announced a reduction of 24 per cent in the adult education budget in the 2015/16 academic year. That puts more than 190,000 adult learning places across the UK at risk.

For Milton Keynes College this could be as many as 500 places, said principal Dr Julie Mills pictured. She added: “Every year hundreds of adults students come to this college to retrain for a new job, whether it is due to redundancy or wanting a change in career.

“We need to have enough funding if we want to continue our support of these people.”

Milton Keynes College has joined forces with the Association of Colleges, a membership organisation for further education and sixth form colleges, to campaign against the cuts. AoC chief executive Martin Doel said: “Adult education and training is effectively being decimated. It is too important to be lost.”

The AoC is calling for greater equality in the education system by introducing education accounts for all students aged 19 and over. Government, individuals and employers could contribute to these accounts to ensure that all adult students, whether studying at university or college, have equivalent access to loans and grants. 

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