Adult vocational education consultation must tackle skills crisis

24 March 2015

Responding to the announcement today of an open consultation on the challenges affecting adult vocational education over the next ten years, David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE, said:

“We’ve been lacking a unifying vision for learning, skills and employment for some time so I welcome this contribution from Vince Cable to the debate we need. The consultation covers a lot of ground and includes explicit analysis of the challenges we face which support our view that we are facing a skills crisis. The crisis is a combination of the need to support better skills achievement whilst state funding has plummeted. I also welcome some of the thinking and ideas for change, because it is clear that a lot has to change to ensure we have a strong economic recovery.

“We have been calling for an independent commission to be established in the first 100 days of the next Government to help establish a new vision. A commission would be able to set the vision and the ambition, agree the long-term skills needs and establish a new system for funding people to develop and update their skills throughout their careers. The commission could engage and involve national and local Government, employers, providers, unions, charities and learners working together to revitalise and revolutionise skills training.”

NIACE is encouraging its members and others from across the sector to take part in this consultation.