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Ray Walker Business Executive Director – Local Authorities, Community and School Development Birmingham Metropolitan College The Role of Further Education in the Development of Skills and Economic Growth. Challenge set down by government: “ Skills for Sustainable Growth”

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Ray Walker Business Executive Director – Local Authorities, Community and School Development

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Ray Walker

Business Executive Director – Local Authorities, Community and School Development

Birmingham Metropolitan College

The Role of Further Education in the Development of Skills and Economic Growth


Challenge set down by government:

  • “ Skills for Sustainable Growth”

  • “Investing in Skills for Sustainable Growth”

  • “New Challenges, New Changes”


  • Promote Adult Skills.

  • High Quality Teaching and learning

  • Free Colleges/Providers from bureaucracy to enable better response to local needs/communities.

  • Better investment in skills between the taxpayer, learner and employer.


Apprenticeships:

  • Significant increases in the number of apprenticeships in the region.

  • Greater increase in youth apprenticeships as well as adult apprenticeships.

  • Government funding for 250,000 more apprenticeships over the next four years.

  • More High level Apprenticeships.

  • Apprenticeship Training Associations/Agencies (ATAs) and Group Training Associations/Agencies (GTAs).


Adult Skills Budget- Provision for the unemployed:

  • Meet the needs of those claiming JSA and ESA in Work Related Activity Group.

  • Referral via Jobcentre Plus

  • Provision appropriate to learner and employer needs.

  • Job Outcome Incentive Payments.


Skills Conditionality:

  • Skills training a condition of continued receipt of benefit.

  • Benefit sanction for non participants


Colleges and Training Providers to support Service Academies:

  • Combining work placements with pre-employment training.

  • Guaranteed Interviews with employers.


Key Developments to support growth via skills development:

  • Review of funding.

  • Lifelong Learning Accounts Launch.

  • Development of new industry – led professional standard schemes – ensuring qualifications are valued and are of high quality.


  • £210 million /year protection of informal Adult Community Learning.

  • Fully funded provision for the low skilled, young people and jobseekers.

  • Government backed loans for first time in FE for learners aged 24+.

  • Upfront cost of training not being a barrier to following learning and skills.


Growth and Innovation fund:

  • £50 million / year.

  • Pump prime and pilot selected projects, build leadership and management skills in SMEs.


What else needs to be done?

  • Greater integration of the pre 19 and post 19 activity to address skills and employability.

  • Young NEETs can and often do become older NEETs/long term unemployed.


  • Addressing the skills and employment agenda much earlier with young people.

  • Wolf Report – more appropriate vocational learning for young people.

  • Following vocational qualifications that are recognised by employers.

  • High quality Internships –a real engagement with the world of work.


  • New structural arrangements to deliver education and training.

  • Continued focus on functional skills and employability skills.

  • Differentiated approach for specific disadvantaged groups.

  • Programmes that integrate “wrap around” support with good teaching and skills delivery.


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