Putting the funding of further education on a sustainable, financially secure and long-term footing is vital for those young people who will reap the dividends, for those communities in which colleges are based and for the greater benefit of UK plc. Without that investment, social mobility will decline still further and the productivity gap will widen to a chasm.
In Waveney, East Coast College, which includes Lowestoft Sixth Form College, provides an important bridge from the classroom to university and the workplace. In a coastal town where there has been economic decline, they are the cornerstone on which we can rebuild the economy and give young people the opportunity to realise their full potential.
The case for better funding of further education is strong. It will improve social mobility, particularly in those parts of the country where people have often been left behind. It is a vital stepping stone from the classroom to the workplace.