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Vocational Education And Training

Volume 163: debated on Monday 4 December 1989

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he is taking to encourage the involvement of employers with further education colleges in the development of vocational education and training.

The reconstitution of college governing bodies required by the Education Reform Act will ensure that governors representing employment interests have no fewer than half of the available places on each new governing body. The Government have taken a number of steps to encourage employers to take up this opportunity to become involved in the development of vocational education and training. The then Secretary of State's speech to the 1988 CBI conference encouraged people from business to get involved and a leaflet "College Governors from the Business Community" was distributed. Earlier this year, an information pack "New Governors for Further Education" was produced by Industry Matters and also a promotional video. Employers can become involved in the work of colleges in many other ways. Through its Pickup initiative the Department has been encouraging colleges to work with employers to develop tailor-made training and updating provision. The changes required by the Education Reform Act will give employers greater oportunity to participate in the planning of such work.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what targets he is setting for vocational education and training among young people.

My right hon. Friend recognises the need for considerable improvement in both the number and the level of vocational qualifications gained by young people. He believes that:

Every young person should either be in full-time education or in a job with time off for good quality training.
Every young person should achieve a recognised vocational qualification or its equivalent, with greater numbers achieving higher levels of qualification.