We know that education can transform people’s lives. There is a need to provide proper investment in our education system to ensure that it is accessible to all and celebrates diversity and nurtures talent.

Our colleges are enabling people across Glasgow to develop their skills and individuals gain support for lifelong learning. The wide range of college courses improves the life chances of young people and adults.

College lecturers are vital in helping their students to realise their potential. Further education delivered by colleges is supporting our local economic development and local employers seeking a qualified workforce to fill their vacancies.

People from more disadvantaged areas or who require support to access employment rely on the opportunities available at our colleges. It is our college lecturers who support many students who wish to gain specific qualifications after leaving school or need to train in a skill to secure employment.

There are lecturers in Scottish Colleges that are taking industrial action due to a pay offer from College Employers Scotland being lower than the current rate of inflation and thus, a real-terms pay cut.

This college lecturers’ pay offer is also below the Scottish Government's public sector pay policy, at a time when other public sectors have seen Scottish Government intervention to resolve their disputes.

While the trade union for the lecturers, EIS – Further Education Lecturers Association, acknowledges within the current pay offer by College Employers Scotland, that any compulsory redundancies will not be related directly to this pay offer, there is concern about job cuts.

Despite ongoing discussions, the representatives of college employers have yet to make any progress towards an improved offer on pay.

We need to show our support for college lecturers and endorse their importance in delivering vocational courses which are essential, along with academic courses, and supported flexible learning.

Across Glasgow, people can gain skills, confidence and support to help achieve employment through the “No One Left Behind” approach. There is vital support offered through colleges connected with other local services to ensure people can get the right support at the right time.

Our young people are being offered educational opportunities that can best suit their needs through colleges.  We have to recognise the significant value of the support network available to our young people involving schools, colleges, universities, employability programmes, third-sector support, apprenticeships or other specialist training programmes.

Colleges assist us in responding to the challenges of inequality, poverty, and the climate emergency with the urgency that is needed. They help us to innovate to secure a sustainable future for our communities.

Our college lecturers support the training to deliver a transition to zero carbon energy, as well as to build a green manufacturing sector and warm affordable homes.

We need to support calls for better funding and fair pay for further education colleges. Whilst there are budget challenges facing the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council, we have to continue to work to secure the resources needed to provide the education and training needed by young people and adults across Glasgow.