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Further afield

Hayes has a crafty idea - return to medieval guilds

FE minister John Hayes's plans to recreate medieval guilds for the 21st century took a step forward with the announcement of the return of indentured service to apprenticeships. The Coalition hopes that by scrapping apprentice pay, extending the course to seven years and allowing companies to beat runaways with sticks, it will encourage employers to take up its record numbers of places as well as to improve success rates. In a speech at the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers today, Mr Hayes was expected to say: "By returning to the system of guilds and apprentices of the past, and renewing it for the 21st century, we can restore pride in craftsmanship, if not make it pay. Through guilds, we can bring back the romance of the past, if not its standards of hygiene."

David Hughes named new chief executive of Niace

David Hughes, who holds the second most senior role at the Skills Funding Agency, is to become the new chief executive of Niace, the adult education organisation, this summer. Mr Hughes will take over from Alan Tuckett, who is retiring after 23 years in the post. Mr Tuckett said: "I can think of no one better than David to take forward the work of Niace. We will need all of David's values and his combination of flair, energy and strategic vision to adapt those messages for a new era. I wish him every success."

Apprenticeships `return pound;40 for every pound spent'

Apprenticeships generate pound;40 in the economy over a student's lifetime for every pound spent by Government, new research commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has found. The study, which estimated the economic impact of the skills gained by adults in the 200809 cohort, found that the work done that year would add pound;75 billion to the economy over their working lives. Vince Cable, secretary of state at BIS, said: "We have committed to funding at least 250,000 more adult apprentices over the next four years than the previous Government planned for. This research adds further weight to our conviction that further education has a vital role to play in ensuring we have the skills that will build a stronger and more balanced economy."

Community champions recruit 100,000 learners

More than 100,000 people have been helped to take up some form of learning over the past 18 months by thousands of community learning champions, the adult education body Niace said. Unemployed people made up 70 per cent of those who took up learning, the body said, as the scheme which funded 50 projects across the UK to promote education in the community came to an end. Niace director of operations Mark Ravenhall said: "This scheme really embraces the ethos of the Big Society. It's about people in local communities helping each other to succeed through the transformative effect of learning. It shows what can happen when a relatively small amount of money is targeted to help people help themselves through adult education."


A report last week ("Spotlight on techies as film academy looks to the future") referred to film producer Iain Smith as chairman of Skillset; he is in fact chairman only of its film skills council, while the chairman of the organisation as a whole is Stewart Till.

In FE Focus 18 March we attributed the main comment article on pages 6-7 to Alison Fuller and Lorna Unwin, professors at the LLAKES Centre at Southampton University's Institute of Education. Ms Fuller and Ms Unwin are, in fact, professors at the LLAKES Centre at Southampton University and the Institute of Education, University of London.

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