From education to employment

Graham Hoyle, Chief Executive of the ALP, talks Exclusively to

2006 seems certain to be a year of change yet again for Further Education as more learners join and funding issues roll on.

FE as a sector now supplies training and education to some 5 million people a year in different guises. It is certainly the best tool for both encouraging social inclusion and widening participation in education, and also for meeting the skills challenges that employers have highlighted, and that Lord Leitch is set to elaborate upon with his Leitch Review on the skills that will be needed for the workforce and Britain to remain competitive in the global arena.

FE News is committed to changing the public perception of the Further Education sector and bringing the views of professionals in FE to the fore. As such, we are delighted that, following on from his thoughts on 2005, Graham Hoyle, the Chief Executive of the Association of Learning Providers (ALP), has agreed to talk to us exclusively about his hopes for 2006.

Hopes for the Year

Question: “What would you most like to see happen in 2006?”

Graham Hoyle: “As indicated above” – in the interview on 2005, right here at FE News – “the ALP wants to see silos between further education and training broken down. This can be achieved by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) introducing contestability across all of its programmes.

“We also want to see a sustained and consistent commitment to the apprenticeship programme which the Chancellor of the Exchequer rightly sees as essential to Britain’s productivity improvement agenda. The ALP is concerned at the rapidly diminishing range of options for those school leavers not able to get onto a full Apprenticeship – many will end up in the NEET group as E2E places are taken up by young people no longer able to get onto an Apprenticeship.

“Development of a proper pre-Apprenticeship strategy to meet the needs of these young people must be a high priority for 2006. Lastly, the Government must ensure that its new framework for Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) for young people provides the unbiased advice which Ruth Kelly has called for. The ALP has serious concerns that the green paper proposals will not give the Secretary of State what she wants.”

Future of Cooperation

Question: “What is the agency/organisation that you expect to be most involved with during 2006?”

Graham Hoyle: “The Department for Education and Skills (DfES) is responsible for providing its agencies, including the LSC, with strategic direction in response to Foster. The ALP is therefore seeking an ongoing dialogue with ministers and officials on how Sir Andrew’s recommendations can best be introduced. On the evidence of the first few days in January, we are pressing against an open door!”

We would like to thank Mr. Hoyle for his time and contribution, and hope that the optimism of the first few days of January proves to be a lasting development.

Jethro Marsh

Read Graham Hoyle’s memories of 2005 right here at FE News!

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