Post-16 education and training institutions review

20 July 2015

Responding to the Post-16 education and training institutions review published today by the Department for Buisness Innovation & Skills, David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE, said:

“This is a great opportunity for Ministers to show leadership in setting the challenge for every area to assess the learning needs of the adult population and future workforce skills requirements for local economies. With insufficient numbers of young people entering the labour market in the next 10 years, we need more training to be made available that is more flexible, affordable and appropriate for people already in the workforce, as well as those trying to enter it. A balanced understanding is needed of how access to learning at all levels can be delivered, with funding coming from employers, individuals as well as Government.

“I fear that the focus as set out today might mean people with low skills levels will miss out, and those on low pay will fail to get the support they need to progress in work. Both of these are vital if the UK us going to improve productivity in a range of industries including retail, care and hospitality, where low level skills need to improve. We also need to ensure that people in work can achieve higher level skills with flexible and accessible provision outside of the apprenticeship programme, which should be about new labour market entrants.

“The Government accurately describes the extreme financial challenges facing colleges, supported by today’s NAO report. I hope that area-based reviews will uncover the challenges local people face in accessing the training they need to increase their earnings.”