From education to employment

Rob Wye from the LSC tells FE News What He wants Santa

Rob Wye, Director of Strategy and Communications, Learning and Skills Council.

Based on the principle of “he knows if you”ve been bad or good,” welcome to FE Santa’s grotto!

What would you ask for within FE in 2006? The theory runs that Santa can grant three Christmas wishes to anyone who has behaved themselves this year, and up at his magical factory in the North Pole his little helpers will chop and carve and cut and paste until all the gifts are ready for the sleigh ride. Here, Rob Wye, the Director of Strategy and Communications at the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), tells us what was on the LSC’s letter to Saint Nick.

When You Already Know the Present

Rob Wye: “Only three presents? We”d like a few more! Well, we know one present that is going o be delivered for 2006 ““Train to Gain, the National Employer Training Programme (NETP), will begin rolling out in April and it has enormous potential to combat skills deficiencies among employees ““one of the areas where we do badly as a country compared with our global competitors.

“It will provide a core offer of free, high quality training for employees who lack basic skills or a first full Level 2 qualification ““the minimum required for employability. That’s certainly one present we”re looking forward to unwrapping. And not to mention our gift to more than 65,000 young people on LSC-funded Entry to Employment (E2E) and Programme Led Pathways. From April, they will be able to apply for Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) for the first time.”

The First Present

Rob Wye: “Those aside, there are some other gifts we”d like on behalf of FE in 2006 ““ones that will support the transformation underway in the sector. Further education is poised on the brink of great change and it is imperative that we do not falter in this great ambition.

“So, the first present we”d like is momentum, to ensure our pace does not slacken, that helps us to be urgent in delivering agenda for change and, through the 14″“19 agenda and the Skills Strategy, enables us to create a high quality, burgeoning FE sector equipped to meet the growing demand for skills for the benefit of individuals, employers, local communities and the national economy.”

Wish Number Two

Rob Wye: “Present Number Two would be partnership. From the moment the LSC was created in 2001 it was clear that we would achieve little without the active support and trust of all our partners and stakeholders in learning and skills. Since then there have been many wonderful examples of partnership working ““every day across the country, schools, colleges, local authorities and other partners are collaborating in brand new partnerships to deliver new vocational qualifications for 14″“16 year olds.

“And college principals are working alongside the LSC in finding solutions to pressing issues under our agenda for change, to tackle bureaucracy, simplify funding and data systems and ensure every penny goes to the frontline. This spirit of partnership must continue and develop.

The Final Wish

Rob Wye: “Present Number Three ““ambition. Perhaps I should say more ambition. We”ve always been ambitious, not just for ourselves in terms of the goals and objectives we have set, but more importantly for the sector itself, and for the communities, individuals and employers whose needs we must meet.

“We have achieved a great deal, but the more we achieve the more ambitious we should become. There can never be enough ambition.”

And now that gathering around the tree that is due to be taken down to the recycling centre is over, the wrapping paper is strewn across the floor and the new year is upon us, how many of these has Saint Nick dropped down FE’s chimney?

Jethro Marsh

What are your wishes for 2006 in FE? Tell us in the FE Blog

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