“Opportunities must be affordable and available to everybody - wherever we live and throughout our lives.”
Candidates standing in the Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region Mayoral elections on Thursday 4 May have been asked to sign up to a skills charter to demonstrate their commitment to further education.
The five-point charter calls for accessible high-quality training, education and skills to be available to people across the region throughout their lives. The unions behind the charter want candidates to guarantee their support for a decent range of courses at colleges in Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region, and a skills system that links in with other regional objectives.
UCU and UNISON said that good skills and training are key to a host of local objectives including economic growth, employment opportunities and health and well-being. The unions say further education colleges must be allowed to play a vital role in their local communities and they need political support to be able to do that.
UCU regional official Martyn Moss said:
“The mayoral candidates are all likely to make much of their support for education, but we want to see them put their money where their mouth is and sign up to our charter.
“The region needs a decent range of courses available and linked into other priorities around skilled jobs and a strong local economy. The changing nature of the world of work means people must be able to refresh their skills or learn new ones.”
UNISON North West regional secretary Kevan Nelson said:
“For devolution to be a success there needs to be opportunities for people to train and retrain. Opportunities must be affordable and available to everybody - wherever we live and throughout our lives.
“Organisations providing training must be accountable to the public and provide high-quality courses and apprenticeships. By signing the charter, mayoral candidates can show that they are committed to principles that can produce the training and skills provision that our city-regions need.”