The Guardian has published a number of letters in response to the article by John Harris last week, ‘Further education provides a lifeline. But try telling the government that‘.
Martin Cumella, chair of the Learning Revolution Trust, writes that ‘the government is putting all its eggs in the basket of apprenticeship expansion, but this ignores evidence of a serious lack of demand among employers’ and that ‘this is a time when a strong vocational education system is needed more than ever, and when employers’ organisations are expressing concern that businesses cannot access recruits with the level of skills required.’
Professor Geoffrey Channon suspects that ‘very few politicians, civil servants and corporate leaders are among [FE’s] alumni, and they simply don’t get it.’
While former LEA further education adviser, David Selby, recalls, ‘When the colleges of further education left LEA control at the beginning of the 90s, I was involved in aspects of the transition and it was obvious that the highly intelligent, privately educated, civil servants that I met did not have a clue about FE, which appears still to be the case if John Harris’s quote from Vince Cable is correct.’