Figures reveal the number of college students has decreased significantly by more than 150,000 from 379,233 in 2007/08 to 226,919 in 2014/15.
With numbers falling by 40 per cent – concerns have been raised that there is a crisis looming in Scotland’s further education and business sectors.
However, this is despite the Scottish Government claiming today that college numbers have “exceeded their target”.
Last year, statistics highlighted where the SNP college axe had fallen, with 150,000 part-time courses cut and replaced with only 9000 full-time ones.
And the Federation of Small Businesses has previously voiced fears that its members were worried about a lack of skills coming through.
Scottish Conservative young people spokeswoman Liz Smith said:
“All the spin in the world will not hide the fact that student college numbers are down under the SNP.
“Thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds are losing out achieving their dreams and this is unacceptable.
“The Scottish Government has repeatedly slammed the door on those seeking to better themselves and it is no wonder many businesses are increasingly worried about a skills gap.
“A crisis is looming in further education and the Cabinet Secretary and First Minister must address this dramatic fall in student numbers before it is too late.”