Vocational training to get more prominence

View Latest News Publish Date: 24-Jan-2005

Vocational training to get more prominence

Education Secretary Charles Clarke has congratulated colleges and uiversities for making 'strides' since 1997, inlcuding a big increase in apprenticeships and adults gaining early stage qualifications.

The Further Education sector, he said, is the engine that drives forward much of our [education strategy]. That is why substantial investment has been, and is being, made in the sector after years of neglect.

"But, further reform needs to accompany this extra investment. The government cannot and should not be expected to fund everything. Employers and students as personal beneficiaries should also contribute."

He went on: "It is also about ensuring that the needs of employers are understood and met so they are confident that learners are equipped with the necessary skills, knowledge and attitudes."

This, said Clarke, would also give students confidence that what they learn will translate into better job prospects later on.

His words follow on from a government-commissioned report published last month, which recommended that vocational courses be given more prominence in the education system, especially for pupils who are not academically gifted.

The chief inspector of schools, Chris Bell, has urged politicians to recognise work skills, citing chef Jamie Oliver and fashion designer Stella McCartney as examples of non-academics forging successful careers.

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