From education to employment

FE gift vouchers available at nine pilot colleges in scheme launched by DIUS and LSC.

If you”re searching for the perfect present for friends or family this Christmas, here’s something new: FE courses gift vouchers.

The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) and the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) have launched a pilot scheme across nine colleges which will enable people to buy £50 gift vouchers. The recipients can then use them to enrol on college courses, either covering the cost of short courses, or redeem them against the total cost of longer courses.

David Lammy, Minister for Skills said: “The Perfect Gift pilot is a superb example of the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit that runs through the FE sector. Enabling people to purchase Vouchers for courses is a simple but effective way to make learning, and the benefits of learning, even more accessible to everyone.”

The Gift Vouchers can be used to enrol on a variety of courses available at participating colleges and are redeemable during the 2007-2008 academic year. For example, the gift vouchers could be used at the College of North East London (CoNEL), one of the colleges participating, to enrol on a City & Guilds in PC Maintenance, an Introduction to Counselling or an NVQ in Barbering.

Paul Head, Principal of CoNEL said of the scheme: “This is the ideal gift for a friend or family member whom you know is keen to develop a hobby, learn a new skill or even update existing skills. We”re excited about the opportunity this innovative project presents, and are certain it will appeal to a wide range of people.”

Linda Siegle, Joint Chief Executive of the Campaign for Learning, agreed: “This is an excellent initiative which supports our own objectives of encouraging family members to help loved ones in developing their skills through engaging in learning. What better time to offer the chance to buy a learning course as a gift, than just after National Family Learning Week, when families have had the opportunity to get a taste of the enjoyment and benefit of learning at events across the country. We believe this straightforward yet effective idea will prove extremely popular and we look forward to hearing how the initiative develops.”

The nine colleges participating in the pilot scheme are:-

– Chichester College

– New College Nottingham

– Blackpool & Fylde College

– Gateshead College

– York College

– West Hertfordshire College

– Filton College (Bristol)

– Warwickshire College

– College of North East London

Rosie Spowart

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