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Bucket loads of vocation

Let's face it, colleges have a hard enough time finding the cash for their lecturers' pay packets, without the headache of shelling out for someone to clean the place up when the teaching staff have gone home.

Competing for low-cost labour can be a tough business when supermarkets in more affluent parts of the country are prepared to offer the princely sum of pound;6 an hour for a check-out operator.

But the strict further education funding regime has honed the talents of college managers over the years since incorporation.

And FErret hears that some sixth-form colleges have come up with a novel way of getting the cleaning done when they can't afford the going rate.

They get their students to do it.

Sue Witham, of the Sixth Form College Employers' Forum, explained: "A few colleges employ students who are very glad to get pound;5 an hour, or whatever it works out at, to do a bit of cleaning.

"We are talking about 16 and 17-year-old people. They are not experienced but at least its somebody behind a mop."

And who said sixth from colleges aren't vocational?

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