From education to employment

General FE College model under review

The government is reviewing the General FE College model as it looks to cut costs while investing more to create three million Apprenticeships, according to Skills Minister Nick Boles.

Addressing the Association of Employment and Learning Providers’ (AELP) annual conference earlier this week, Boles warned there will be “difficult choices” over the next few months about the less productive parts of FE.

He said: “We need to look at the range of institutions that exist within Further Education, Technical and Professional Education, and ask ourselves whether the General Further Education college that we have had for so long – many of which do a very fine job in lots of areas – whether that general model is a model that we want for the future when resources are constrained.”

The Association of Colleges (AoC) welcomed the minister’s interest in looking at the budget issue from top to bottom, while highlighting the role colleges will play in delivering more Apprenticeships.

“We have confidence that the college model works,” said AoC assistant chief executive Julian Gravatt.

“They are ambitious and resilient institutions at the heart of the community, with excellent relationships with local businesses.”

Natalie Thornhill

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