From education to employment

Martin Dunford speaks out about the quality of vocational study

Martin Dunford, chairman of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), reflected on the quality of vocational training over the last ten years, and his hopes for the future of vocational studies in education in an interview with FE news.

Dunford calls for vigilance during austere times ahead as the past has seen an ‘uneven playing field for vocational training,’ which AELP endeavours to change with a voluntary practice guide for supply chain management.

Preparatory training for employment was the main message from the AELP’s annual conference yesterday, with a strong emphasis on the provision of good quality vocational training, where it has previously been mishandled and badly organised through a lack of cohesion between government departments in earlier schemes.

Dunford recalls how some government programmes for vocational training have been suspended in previous years, leaving learners without the relevant means to continue, and suggests joining certain government departments to create a more cohesive approach to this kind of training.

Preparatory training, consisting of taught vocational and employability skills, is a method of training which the chairman insists should take place at school, as many employers consider school and university leavers ‘not ready’ for work.

Through good supply chain management practice, these schemes could play an important and comprehensive role in colleges and other independent education providers in giving the high quality of vocational training needed.

However, it appears that with an increased lack of government funding across the board at a greater expense of the learner, the quality of vocational training must improve to supply a more ‘discerning’ public with value education for money.

Daisy Atkinson

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