From education to employment

Chief Officer of The Independent Verifiers and Assessors shares his thoughts on developments in FE.

The most welcome development or announcement affecting FE and WBL in 2007?

This must be FE News going from strength to strength! It is now the first port of call for anyone interested in reading or debating current FE and WBL topics. Its editorial staff ensure that readers are kept informed of developments, especially those intended to pass unnoticed beneath the sector radar and stimulates a broad and invigorating spectrum of opinion in its columns. (Thanks Lawrence! Of course we owe much of it to contributors such as yourself, who always provide good copy and interesting viewpoints across a range of debates)

And the worst development?

The worst development affecting FE and WBL is the lack of Government policy in respect of the frighteningly large number of young people not in employment, education or training. The amount of effort required to bring this lost 20% of the cohort into FE and WBL is entirely under-estimated. It is not going to be easy to tackle and the lost potential is far greater than the billions spent on their support week in week out.

What would be on your Christmas wish list for FE and WBL?

I think the important thing for FE and WBL to do is to step out of the shadows and remind the UK that without massive investment in vocational education and training we are doomed. The lack of visibility is the sector’s problem. More VET noise in 2008 is the answer. More agreed and united action would produce the budget increases necessary for the sector to save the nation. The start of the Education and Skills Bill’s progress through Parliament began on 28 November; whether it makes the trumpeted difference we need is doubtful.

What will your New Year resolution be?

To use the freedom of information legislation more to ferret out the truth.

Lawrence Miles, Chief Officer, IVA

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