Autumn Budget and Spending Review

Our CEO Kirstie Donnelly comments on the Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Autumn Budget and Spending Review

28 October 2021

Commenting on the Autumn Budget and Spending Review, Kirstie Donnelly MBE, CEO of City & Guilds Group said:

“Whilst we welcome the Chancellor’s spending package for professional and technical education, we need more clarity over whether the Chancellor’s commitments to the sector are new, or merely a rehash of funding that was already allocated and sold to us as something ‘new’. With a million jobs left unfilled (along with our supermarket shelves and petrol tanks) there is too much at stake to get this wrong.”

“Undoubtedly, some solid foundations have been put into place in terms of T Levels and Apprenticeships, but make no mistake there is still significant work to be done. For starters, if T Levels are to succeed they will need young people to choose to study them. This will require a significant amount of support from Government over the next few years to promote them to young people, their parents and teachers alike, and convince them of the life changing benefits they could bring.

“Additionally, we still don’t have a skills system set up to meet the needs of adults who will need to constantly upskill and reskill over five-decade careers. The Chancellor may have pledged investment in bricks and mortar colleges, but in a world that’s becoming increasingly digital, as we proposed in our Spending Review submission, we need to act now to introduce more short-term flexible and modular solutions such as our Skills Bridges to help fill key roles and ensure that people of all ages and at all stages of their careers are able to upskill and reskill.

“What we’re still not seeing is a comprehensive long-term strategy, that connects the dots of careers advice, pre and post 16 education and employment to local labour market needs and creates longer term growth and productivity.”