From education to employment

‘Skill’s demise a great loss to learners, says NIACE

The National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) has criticised the closure of Skill – the National Bureau for Students with Disabilities – as a “great loss to learners”.

Following a period of financial difficulty, Skill’s Board of Trustees last week decided that it was no longer viable to keep the charity open and announced that it had ceased operating.

Yola Jacobsen, NIACE’s programme manager, said: “Skill’s demise is a great loss to learners, staff and providers in the learning and skills sector.

“Over the past 40 years Skill has worked hard to promote equality for disabled people in education, training and employment, working closely with NIACE on policy work and many projects and events.”

Paying tribute to the Skill colleagues NIACE has worked with, Ms Jacobsen added: “There is all the more reason now, to take forward this important work particularly in these challenging times.”

Skill was the only pan-disability charity that focused on promoting equality for disabled people in education, training and employment. It is hoped that others may step in to fill the gap this has left in the support available.

Peter Lavender, NIACE’s deputy chief executive, said: “This is a great lossto struggling education and training providers, in a time of major cuts.

“Likewise for every member of Skill and for each member of staff, there isa loss which will blunt the chance of making a difference for disabled learners in further and higher education.”

Aastha Gill

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