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Further afield

Ministers heap praise on college's employment success

Ministers have praised City College Brighton and Hove after a visit to see how its collaboration with Jobcentre Plus is trying to give unemployed people the skills to return to work. FE minister John Hayes and employment minister Chris Grayling heard how nearly half of the 20 out-of-work students on its training courses found jobs after three months. Mr Hayes said: "Forming strong working partnerships at a local level between Jobcentre Plus, employers and training providers will be critical to getting people the training and support to get the skills they need to get jobs and for employers to benefit, too. It is extremely encouraging to hear about some of the work going on in Brighton. I want to see more of this both here in Brighton and right across the country."

Union threatens legal action over job losses

The University and College Union is threatening legal action against East Durham College, claiming it is refusing to consult with unions over plans to cut 73 jobs. UCU said it would have "little alternative" but to pursue an employment tribunal claim if the college did not fulfil its duty to consult when more than 20 jobs are at risk. Joyce McAndrew, UCU regional official, said: "It is time for East Durham College to drop its stupid macho management style, to join the 21st century and talk to us." A college spokesman said it had begun consulting staff affected earlier this month and had kept union representatives informed. It said some staff had already accepted voluntary redundancy and that any compulsory job losses should be fewer than ten.

Cuts fury unleashed on `Tory' NUS leaders

A demonstration against cuts to student support and HE fees was marred by angry calls for Aaron Porter, president of the National Union of Students, to stand down amid jibes that he was a "Tory too". Shane Chowen, the NUS vice-president for FE, also faced eggs and oranges thrown by a handful of demonstrators at the rally in Manchester last weekend. "To be clear, they all missed," he told followers on Twitter. About 5,000 people gathered to hear speakers such as Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, who attacked the Government's cuts, saying it was "at war with our young people and therefore at war with our future".

Science films to fire pupil enthusiasm

Students from Bicton College have been featured in a series of films by the Science Council intended to encourage the take-up of science, technology, engineering and maths courses.

DVDs of the films, featuring four of the land-based college's students who are studying subjects such as agricultural engineering and countryside management, are set to be distributed to secondary schools throughout England and Wales.

Deputy principal Jane Townsend said: "There is an identified shortage of skilled practical technicians within the British workforce with the ability to apply real understanding in a practical work-based setting. We hope the films will inspire young people to consider science-based careers and to realise that studying science can be fulfilled through their local further education college, right up to degree level."

CPD programme targets FE middle managers

The New Engineering Foundation, a think-tank which supports vocational education in science and technology, has launched a new, free e-learning CPD programme for middle managers in FE. Funded by the Learning and Skills Improvement Service, the course on "Active Leadership and Innovation" is intended to help colleges identify opportunities for growth even in a time of reduced public funding. NEF chief executive Sa'ad Medhat said: "It is easy at a time when everyone is looking to make cuts and drive up efficiencies to forget that in challenge, rewards can be found. It is not always about retrenching and consolidating."

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