East Durham College joined forces with other colleges from across the UK, calling for the government to increase investment in further education.
The Love Our Colleges campaign, which has ran from May 13th to May 17th, was created by the Association of Colleges (AoC). The campaign is designed to raise awareness about the lack of funding further education providers receive.
Over the last decade, colleges have suffered on average 30% cuts to their funding, during which time costs have also increased dramatically.
At East Durham College, and every college in the UK, this means that the services colleges can provide are affected, having a detrimental effect on the services colleges can provide to students, businesses, communities and the wider economy.
David Butler, Chair of the Corporation at East Durham College, said: “East Durham College strongly supports calls by the Association of Colleges for fairer funding and better pay for staff. Current funding levels are unsustainable. This needs to be urgently addressed so that we can continue to provide opportunities for individuals within our communities and meet the skills requirements of local employers.”
The college has been increasing awareness this week across its social media channels, supported by local employers showing their support holding the Love Our Colleges branding. The British Army, who visited the college for a recruitment event, also took part.
Grahame Morris, local MP for Easington, is a constant supporter of East Durham College and the Love Our Colleges campaign.
Grahame said: “I have the great honour to have East Durham College in my constituency and I support the college’s efforts to secure the necessary funding for our FE colleges.
“They provide a very valuable service, bridging skills gaps, providing people with vocationally-based opportunities, creating a vision of opportunity, and I think it’s incredibly important that they get the level of funding that they deserve.
“So please support our colleges, and the best of luck to the Love Our Colleges campaign.”
The Love Our Colleges campaign is a partnership between Association of Colleges (AoC), National Union of Students (NUS), Association of College and School Leaders (ASCL), University and Colleges Union (UCU), Unison, GMB, TUC and National Education Union (NEU).
David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said: “The financial viability of colleges is as hard as it has ever been. This is despite the fact they are embedded within their local community and work with employers to provide solutions to people of all ages.
“If we want to achieve success, locally, regionally and nationally, we must ensure they’re properly supported.”