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ANY new approach to FE planning should not rely on traditional labour market intelligence, college leaders were told last week.

The warning came from Ian Graham, principal of John Wheatley College in Glasgow, at the official launch of the review of FE supply and demand, which the FE funding council describes as a "planning encyclopedia".

Mr Graham said: "Labour market intelligence does not take account of public sector decisions." He instanced one of the main labour predictors used for Glasgowwhich suggests the city needs fewer health and care workers at a time when the Arbuthnott report points in the opposite direction.

Esther Roberton, vice-chair of the funding council, agreed that labour market intelligence would not suffice.

She also highlighted the dilemma colleges face in meeting needs. "We cannot fund courses for which students are not coming forward, even though employers may have identified a need." The problem is particularly acute in the construction industry

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