From education to employment

Workforce Development is Emphasised in Comprehensive Further Education Review

The Centre for Excellence in Leadership (CEL) welcomed the publication of the Sir Andrew Foster’s Report. The report placed importance on leadership, skills, employability and workforce.

Sir Andrew conducted a ten-month review using a framework of ten questions, with the support of a cross-sector advisory group, which has resulted in this report.The report “Realising the Potential, the Future Role of Further Education Colleges” sets out Sir Andrew’s vision for FE colleges and his recommendations for achieving this. The CEL was launched in 2003 as a key national agency within the “Success for All” initiative to ensure world-class leadership.

CEL chief executive, Lynne Sedgmore said of the report: “It’s thorough and wide ranging, it covers leadership issues for the whole sector ““ the Department for Education and Skills (DfES), the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) and all the colleges ““ and central to the report is the learner.” She believes that the report offers a great opportunity for sector leaders to position colleges as major players in driving the economy forward.

Crucial Role of Leadership

The report highlights the need for FE funding strategies that recognise the challenges of affordability and help colleges invest in growing future talent. Lynne Sedgemore believes the leadership is a core part of delivering the best quality and learning experience for learners. Since 2003, the CEL has engaged with over 450 providers, 11 participants in its Senior Leaderships Development programme have been promoted to the role of principal.

The CEL also welcome the proposal for a national workforce development strategy. It is already involved in the “Train to Gain” programme, which supports leadership development and helps to foster strong partnerships between employers and providers. Lynne says: “Strong leadership is essential to the delivery of the new skills-focused mission”¦aimed at improving the employability of millions of adults so that they can contribute their valuable skills to the UK economy.”

The CEL is keen to act on the proposals to improve standards in partnership with others. It hopes that following Sir Andrew’s report, FE will get the recognition and funding it deserves.

Angela Balakrishnan

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