Resort Labour MP's lifelong learning battle

Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden has used Labour's Party Conference in Liverpool to call on Theresa May's new Government to radically rethink their approach to lifetime learning.

Tuesday, 27th September 2016, 10:41 am
Updated Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 2:15 pm
MP Gordon Marsden

Speaking at a Conference fringe event in Liverpool hosted by the Open University and Social Market Foundation, he said: “This is not just an economic priority for towns like Blackpool. It’s also a question of enabling people’s life chances, a moral challenge for people to have the chance to fulfil their potential.

Mr Marsden, who is currently challenging the Government for Labour as their new Higher Education and Research Bill is being scrutinised in Parliament, said there was “minimal” reference to lifelong learning at the moment in the Bill. He warned the UK and local learners would fall further behind other countries if this wasn’t addressed.

He said: “As a former Open University tutor myself I know first hand how crucial lifelong learning and part-time learning is to changing people lives for the better

“We cannot afford to fall behind on this.

“It is disadvantaged people in places like Blackpool, who have had their grants scrapped and are now being offered expensive loans, whose opportunities and life chances will suffer.

“While it is right to focus on increasing apprenticeships, Labour believes we also need to fund other forms of retraining and skill.”