Can further education help London out of the recession?

This event has already taken place.

This webinar discussed recent developments in further education and recommendations for reform as London plans its way out of the coronavirus crisis.

Catch up on the discussion

About the event

While London’s schools have improved over recent decades, its further education system has struggled. The percentage of working age Londoners participating in further education has fallen from 13.6 per cent five years ago to 7.5 per cent today. Overall spending on adult education, apprenticeships and other work-based learning fell by more than a third (37 per cent) in real terms over the last decade.

The pandemic and potential for recession makes addressing these failures more urgent than ever. Further education has a vital role to play in supporting Londoners affected by job losses, as well as young people entering the job market for the first time. London will also need to make a stronger case for its adult education offer, as employers typically cut down on training opportunities during recessions. And of course, the challenges of preparing for automation and immigration reform are not going away.

This webinar looked at recent developments in further education and set out recommendations for reform, as London plans its way out of the coronavirus crisis.

Centre for London presented new research findings, followed by a chaired discussion with questions including:

  • Is the capital’s further education system well-positioned to support Londoners through the recession, and the recovery?
  • What impact have the last decade of reforms had on adult learning in the capital? And where should our focus be in the coming years?
  • Can further education help heal some of the capital’s deep divides, by providing job and learning opportunities to those with low or no qualifications?
  • What opportunities are arising from furloughing, which is leaving a large number of people with time to learn?


  • Michelle Cuomo-Boorer, Director of Skills and Employment, Greater London Authority
  • Anthony Impey, Founder of Optimity, Chair of the Mayor’s Apprenticeship Advisory Group and Chair of DfE’s Apprenticeship Stakeholder Board
  • Mary Vine-Morris, Director, London Region, Association of Colleges
  • Nicolas Bosetti, Research Manager, Centre for London (Author)
  • Richard Brown, Deputy Director, Centre for London (Chair)


This project has been generously supported by