In a brief chat to journalists at the Association of Colleges Conference, Ivan Lewis, Secretary of State for Skills and Vocational Learning discussed the need for young learners to have a taste of higher education and the workplace. “For many young people, this is not on their radars- we need to change this,” said Lewis. He appeared to be clearly in favour of 14-16 year olds being aware of both higher and further education options and would like to see more partnerships between colleges, universities and schools.
“We have got to remember that young people are different to adults and are more vulnerable. They need more support and pastoral care. We want them to make informed choices,” commented Lewis. Discussing higher and further education, he said that both paths are essential to the future success of the country. “If this country is to be successful, we need more graduates and more plumbers and more joiners. We need to pool facilities in schools, colleges and universities to create learning communities,” furthered Lewis.
Lewis also discussed raising school standards and raising aspirations. He said that he believes that in some areas, expectations are still quite low, while aspirations are quite high. He believes that in order to achieve change and create educational opportunities, “we must get the financial regime right.”
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