From education to employment

Training Foundation chief calls for joined up thinking on education and skills

The Training Foundation has called for a joined up approach to providing education and skills, as it secured further support for its TAP Learning System.

Buckingham City Council is the latest organisation to receive support from TAP trainers to deliver IT training solutions to over 4000 of its employees and school-based staff.

Sarah Barnes, training manager for Buckinghamshire County Council, said: “TAP has enabled us to demonstrate that quality is driven through the whole training life cycle – from development to delivery and we firmly believe that it has assisted us in our drive for continual business excellence.”

Speaking at the Learning Technologies conference in London this week, Adrian Snook, Training Foundation’s deputy chief executive, said: “We feel any attempt to run two systems of education together is blocked. TAP Learning runs independently. The government is so target driven about Train to Gain and giving money away.

“TAP does not involve giving money away, but the government’s view is that this is wasting money. No-one wants to bite the hand that feeds it, but the fascinating thing is that there is little interest in what employers are doing. The two worlds don’t use same language. In the business world we talk about IT, in the learning world it would be ICT and you don’t get a different view point expressed.”

Mr Snook added: “We are running a true market with products bought and sold at cost, but in a market economy, what you give away is worthless. There is a degree of arrogance with the state agencies, as they look purely at targets, it’s about people at the end of the day. Everything that moves in the FE sector is measured, with qualifications as a proxy for skills.

“We want a direct relationship with our learners and need to create sector skills councils to feed into the loop. It is a point of view shared by employers and is not a view expressed enough.

“We need to ask questions about qualifications and skills, do we have a skills or qualifications crisis? We need a faster moving and flexible structure, but the government is creating more bureaucracy. What is in crisis is our qualifications, it is happening on the governments own time and structure and not happening a local FE level.”

Jason Seebaruth


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