When I joined the College of the Future Commission last year, our society and economy faced a number of major challenges including rapid demographic change, technological revolution and social inequality. Society has since been rocked by the pandemic, making the need to address these issues all the more urgent. We must now double our efforts to protect young people’s future prospects and prevent long-term economic scarring from unemployment
Colleges are absolutely central to this agenda. Over recent months, institutions in every corner of the country have gone above and beyond to ensure positive learning and training outcomes in difficult circumstances, supporting digital access for learners and transitioning to new flexible models of delivery. Many have also stepped up their engagement with local university and business partners, creating clear pathways for young people to access opportunities for employment or continued education and training.
However, the role of colleges shouldn’t be limited to on