Further Education: Technical upgrade
The government turns its attention to the dire state of vocational training.
Budget cuts are never pleasant.
Yet the past few years have been particularly hard, says Gerry McDonald, the chief executive of New City College in east London.
His institution is the result of a merger of three local colleges that have pooled resources in the past year partly to cut costs.
From April, it will serve around 4,000 16- to 18-year-olds (mainly studying full-time) and 15,000 adults (mainly part-time) .
Annual rounds of redundancies have “become a way of life”, Mr McDonald sighs.
McDonald 叹气道，每年一次的裁员 “已经成为一种生活方式了”。
Since 1990, funding for primary and secondary schools has soared.
Universities have been given the right to raise their incomes by levying tuition fees on students.
But there has been no such increase in cash for further education, the mostly vocational courses for over-16s.
On March 8th Philip Hammond, the chancellor, turned his attention to the sector.
3月8日，总理Philip Hammond 把他的注意力放在了这个行业。
After announcing funding to pave the way for new selective grammar schools, a controversial objective of the prime minister, he promised a big injection of cash for further education and confirmed a shake-up of the chaotic way in which it is organised.
By 2022 colleges will get an additional ￡500m ($600m) a year, a 19% increase in the 16- to 19-year-old vocational-education budget.
Britain has historically put little emphasis on further education.
In 2012 it placed 16th out of 20 member countries of the OECD in a ranking of the proportion of 20- to 45-year-olds who finished education with a vocational qualification.
That may help explain why productivity growth has stalled, and why British youngsters are less literate and numerate than their peers in other rich countries.