Scrapping EMA could deskill workforce

Scrapping the Education Maintenance Grant could significantly reduce the numbers of graduates coming out of FE colleges, says the prinipal of Uxbridge College.

There are over 1200 students at Uxbridge College who have been receiving the EMA grant of around £30 a week. It has now been decided that the grant will be scrapped and replaced by a smaller fund.

Uxbridge College principal Laraine Smith believes this will stop many being able to complete their education, reports the Uxbridge Gazette. This could mean less qualified workers in the locality available for existing and future employers.

Laraine Smith said: “The EMA payment has had a significant impact on students at Uxbridge College – because it enables them to attend, which in turn means they are highly likely to achieve their qualification.”

“It is striking indeed that where out students have received the payment, the success rate is eight per cent above the College average, and 15 per cent above the national average.”

Figures for success rates at Uxbridge College – the percentage of students achieving their qualifications – show that 94% of those on EMA in 2009/10 achieved their qualifications.

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