According to the Labour Party website the Labour Party have achieved the following in their time in power:
Labour’s is investing in people throughout their lives to help them get on and ahead in the new economy. During this global economic downturn we must continue to invest in people so they have a fair chance to achieve their potential. The expansion of digital and green industries will offer new opportunities. We must be ready to seize these opportunities.
Since 1997, Labour has made progress in increasing skills. Today we have more young people at university than ever before. And we have helped 2. 8 million more adults gain basic skills qualifications in the last five years.
* More young people are attending university than ever before.
* Since 1997, Labour has rescued apprenticeships and built them up so they are well on their way to their rightful place as a mainstream option for young people. We are increasing the number of people starting apprenticeships so nearly 250,000 will start this year. We have also announced another 35,000 to start next year. Completion rates have risen from a quarter 5 years ago to almost two thirds now.
* Labour has invested up to £90 million in 12 employer-led National Skills Academies, which provide industry specific vocational education and training for school leavers and adults
* Labour is giving every 18 year old a right to public funding so that they can continue their training and education; at university or at college; in work or an apprenticeship – until they are 25 or they get a level 3 qualification (equivalent to 2 A levels)
* The Skills Pledge has been signed by over 11,000 employers, covering over 5.5 million employees By making the Skills Pledge employers commit to train their workforce to at least Level 2 – the equivalent of five good GCSEs, grades A–C. Employers who make the Skills Pledge can also access the support of a Train to Gain skills broker at no cost to their business.
* Labour’s funding for Unionlearn has provided 20,500 trained Union Learning Reps who last year alone helped over 200,000 workers back into learning.
* Next year Labour is investing £1bn in Train to Gain, helping 1m people get on at work, with over 380,000 people benefiting this year alone.
New Labour, your Britain:
* Labour has legislated to raise the education and training leaving age so that every young person will be guaranteed an apprenticeship, training or a place to study at school or college up to 18.
* Labour has increased student grants so that over two thirds of students will get a grant of £2,835, in total two thirds of students will receive a partial grant.
* To raise the aspirations of all young people, Labour is offering 250,000 16 year olds, who qualify for the Education Maintenance Allowance, a clear guarantee of the minimum level of maintenance grant and loan they will receive if they go to university or college.
* Labour has pledged to open or commit funding to 20 new university campuses over the next 6 years.
* Within the next ten years we want one in five young people to be taking up apprenticeship places. In order to fulfil our ambition for young people, we will increase the number of 16-18 apprenticeships and are legislating to ensure every suitably qualified young person who wants to do an apprenticeship can do so.
* We will raise the minimum weekly pay for apprentices to £95 a week from September 2009.
Labour Party Further and Higher Education and Skills Policy :http://www.labour.org.uk/further_and_higher_education_and_skills
I would be interested to hear both positive and negative views on Labour’s Further and Higher Education and Skills policies in the comments below?