George Ryan

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After enduring decades of policy changes and uncertainty, FE is nothing if not adaptable. And in the grip of a funding squeeze, providers are finding ever more innovative ways of delivering learning. Here, George Ryan explains how temporary training sites in easily accessible locations are meeting employers needs and broadening the sector’s reach

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If any sector is used to uncertainty and short-term thinking, it’s further education. Since the 1980s, FE has been shunted or split between government departments 11 times, and has come under the wing of almost 70 separate secretaries of state responsible for skills and employment policy. It’s easy to see why those who have worked in the sector for some time see the prospect of coherent, strategic policymaking as remote.

This climate of perpetually resetting priorities and redrafting strategies has created a sector that is highly adaptable. And with long-term planning becoming ever more ...

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