Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Deepings MP leads Cameron's team on Further Education Bill...

South Holland and The Deepings MP John Hayes will be kept on his toes in his new job as Shadow Minister for Vocational Education, with a new Government Bill just published.

The Further Education and Training Bill will give new powers and opportunities to FE colleges to award foundation degrees, improve intervention for underperforming colleges and give Learning and Skills Councils the power to remove college principals and senior staff.

As the Bill was published yesterday, the thoughts of Mr Hayes on its proposed new measures appeared on the Conservative Home weblog.

Mr Hayes says:
"We should refocus investment to deliver high-order skills. Demographic change means that over 70% of the 2020 workforce has already completed compulsory education. It is vitally important that we up-skill and re-skill those already in work to maximise their potential and meet the needs of a dynamic economy."
Good soundbite (maybe), but does "refocus" suggest that Cameron’s Tories don't support basic literacy and numeracy skills which are currently provided free?

Writing in the Guardian, Education Secretary Alan Johnson says:

“I left school at 15 without any qualifications...the only training I received was courtesy of the Union of Post Office Workers.

“My experience makes me passionate about skills and about further education's vital role in reducing social inequalities, recognising and releasing potential, and ensuring individuals and the wider economy stand ready to face the challenges of globalisation.

“In the years before 1997, further education miraculously survived decades of underinvestment and government disinterest. It was never taken seriously as an alternative way of achieving qualifications.

"As if that were not enough to deter employers and students, those who did seek out its benefits had to face the stigma attached to college qualifications...

“Thankfully, things have changed. After investment in excess of £55bn and the introduction of new qualifications, along with a more cohesive system, the FE sector has successfully prepared itself for the challenges ahead."


Anonymous said...

I think Refocus is a good word - we are producing too many people who train as hairdressers and in media studies when the jobs are simply not available to support them.What we need to do is ensure people skill and reskill on courses which have clear routes to Employment at the end of the course.I know that there are plenty of people claiming benefits in Lincolnshire who are trained as hairdressers etc but cannot get a job.With the state of most of our councillors hair in Lincolnshire they certainly wont get much work from them!!

Anonymous said...

Have you seen my hair?

Anonymous said...

If everyone needs re-training, then why not do what I did and train as a trainer? I'm never out of work.