(Via York Press) A YORK college is backing a national campaign to raise awareness of the role colleges play and fighting further funding cuts.
As part of Colleges Week this week Askham Bryan College is taking in the Love our Colleges initiative to highlight the need for proper investment in the further education sector.
With about 5,000 students, Askham Bryan provides a wide range of courses ranging from health and social care to animal management and from motor sport to horticulture. It specialises in rurally based subjects, particularly agriculture, and also provides training for around 900 apprenticeship students.
Catherine Dixon, chief executive, said: “We are supporting the campaign to celebrate the amazing things we are doing in transforming the potential of the next generation. We literally change lives through learning as we open young people’s eyes to the opportunities there are in terms of career choices and then help make those choices possible.
“However, our young people are being short-changed compared with their counterparts abroad, and compared with previous generations. The hours of teaching and support, the choices they have and the enrichment they are offered have all reduced as funding cuts have bitten. We owe it to this generation of young people to ensure their aspirations and potential are not undermined by further Government cuts.
“In addition, we are very much a part of the local community. We work with local businesses, particularly through our extensive apprenticeship programmes. People are perhaps unaware that we welcome thousands of visitors to our sites every year. At York, our Wildlife Park showcases the importance of conservation as well as hands-on learning for our students; our grounds and horticulture facilities are a much-valued resource for gardening enthusiasts and we even have a dog grooming parlour, where the public can bring their dogs for grooming sessions."
The campaign has drawn support from colleges across the country, and includes a national lobby of Parliament on Wednesday 17 October.
It calls on government to increase funding for 16-19 year olds by five per cent for five years.