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Posted on 23 April 2015 at 12:24 GMT

Protesting against  cuts in Wales FE, 22.4.15

Protesting against cuts in Wales FE, 22.4.15   (Click to enlarge)

Wales: Hundreds protest against cuts to adult education

College workers and students fight Labour cuts

Staff and students across colleges in Wales took part on Wednesday in protests against 30 million of Welsh Labour government cuts to Further Education that will lead to the effective abolition of free adult education and hundreds of job losses.

There were very big protests across Wales. Jointly the trade unions UCU, Unison, Unite and GMB put out a call for people to gather at college gates and college workers and students responded enthusiastically.

Protesting against  cuts in Wales FE, 22.4.15

Protesting against cuts in Wales FE, 22.4.15   (Click to enlarge)

At Bridgend college up to 200 students and college workers poured around the gates and enthusiastically chanted and waved union and home made banners. 60 demonstrated at Aberdare campus and 100 at Rhondda campus of Coleg Cymoedd.

There was an upbeat atmosphere but a quiet determination to stand up for the broad range of quality learning and training opportunities provided, particularly for adult education, which is seeing a 50% cut in funding in a single year!

Protesting against  cuts in Wales FE, 22.4.15

Protesting against cuts in Wales FE, 22.4.15   (Click to enlarge)

The range of chances that colleges provide for adult learners in our communities will be seriously reduced if these cuts go through and where learners can find courses they could be much more expensive as colleges have to pass on the full cost price to learners. This is likely to price many out of education and training. Has the Welsh government abandoned the principle of 'lifelong learning' in its willingness to pass on Con-Dem cuts?

Workers and students were clear about what they think of Welsh Labour cuts to Further Education, summed up in the placard made by one lecturer: Betrayal! Next Wednesday (29 April) we take our protests to the Welsh government's doorstep as we demand they reconsider and give us the resources we need to deliver the high quality education we're proud of.

TUSC, as the only 100% anti-austerity party contesting the general election on 7th May stands shoulder to shoulder with all those standing up for Further Education. These cuts by the Welsh Labour government are just a taste of what a Miliband Labour government would be like and amply demonstrated that all the main parties are in favour of cuts. Students and workers grabbed leaflets from TUSC campaigners who supported the protest.

Dave Reid

This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 23 April 2015 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

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