FE response does not address skills issue

July 25, 1997

COLLEGE principals say that Dearing has failed to stress the crucial importance of the further education sector in strengthening post-16 education and the national economy.

The Association of Colleges says that the report fails to put the debate about higher education into context. Specifically, Dearing fails to stress the fact that the problem in the economy stems from a lack of people with vocational qualifications.

Roger Ward, chief executive of the AoC, said: "Sir Ron has been generous to further education but he could have been more generous. We have more graduates in many cases than we know what to do with. The real problem concerns the numbers of people with level-three vocational qualifications." Mr Ward said that the report had perhaps addressed the wrong debate.

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