Further education learners and staff to take the cuts protest to MPs’ front door at Parliament

Further education learners and staff to take the cuts protest to MPs' front door at Parliament

FE staff and students are set to lobby politicians directly tomorrow afternoon as they take the fight against swingeing sector funding cuts to Parliament.

The mass lobby of Parliament in protest against Adult Skills Budget cuts has been organised by the University and College Union (UCU) and is expected to take place from 2pm.

The lobby event follows news in March that funding for Adult Learning would be cut by up to 24 per cent in 2014/15, and an announcement this month that both the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Education would each be facing cuts of £450m — with FE budgets specifically earmarked for savings.

Sally Hunt, UCU general secretary, said: “For too long, further education has been underfunded and underappreciated. The support for the campaign from across the sector and beyond is testament to how valuable adult learning is for people from all sorts of backgrounds.”

The UCU says the cuts will around 400,000 learners missing out on opportunities.

Ms Hunt said: “MPs now need to listen to the concerns of those working and studying in FE and take action to protect the future of the sector.

“We should be expanding opportunities for people to retrain, not cutting vital resources.”

FE staff and students attending the event are due to meet on Parliament Square at 2pm before moving over to the Houses of Parliament to lobby their MPs between 3pm and 5pm.

They will also hear from a range of speakers, including Green MP Caroline Lucas, National Union of Students vice president for FE Joe Vinson and Association for Teachers and Lecturers deputy general secretary Peter Pendle.

A petition calling for the cuts to be reversed, signed by more than 42,000 people, is expected to be handed in to Parliament in the next few weeks.