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TEC'd off with swipe at councils

ALTHOUGH I agree with Josh Hillman that there is an urgent need to radically reform provision for disaffected young people in the 14 to 19 age range (TES, July 17), I really must take issue with his swipe at Training and Enterprise Councils.

Mr Hillman stated correctly that TEC league tables take little account of the educational league tables or socio-economic background of the young people they serve, thereby suggesting that TECs are consequently uninterested in working with disaffected young people.

In fact this year TECs will be required by government only to report performance in terms of young people attaining National Vocational Qualifications level 2 or above i.e. ignoring those who gain a level 1, many of whom fall into the disaffected category; but that does not mean that TECs are not interested in them just because league tables do not report this activity.

There is hardly a TEC in the country that does not invest significant sums of money in projects that are directly targeted at disaffected young people through recognition that experience of the world of work may be the last chance to remotivate them and prevent a loss of real talent and energy.

In fact I go further and suggest that it is the TEC movement that has done more for the disaffected cohort in this age band than any other sector (with perhaps the exception of the youth service). For example, over the past five years in Worcestershire we have supported a project that has demonstrated almost 100% success with such young people in gaining whole or part NVQs while in year 11, and in terms of post-16 destinations.

There are many TEC-funded projects up and down the country carrying out similar valuable work. None of the results from this investment appears in the league tables, but that does not prevent us from doing it.

Patrick Cosgrove, Director of Training, Chamber of Commerce Training and Enterprise, Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

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