Independent training providers have called for a single funding body in further education. They are worried that impending changes, including the disbanding of the Learning and Skills Council, will confuse and damage procurement. A paper by the Association of Learning Providers argues for a "one-stop shop" funding agency that would license preferred suppliers on three- to five-year contracts. It also calls for different ways of evaluating training, based on its value to individuals and the gains in productivity and profitability for employers.
First qualified cohort
The first 111 teaching staff from FE to gain the new professional teaching qualifications will be honoured next week. The Institute for Learning will hold an awards ceremony in London on Monday for the first cohort to gain qualified teacher, learning and skills and associate teacher, learning and skills status.
In our story "Colleges spend millions on consultants while squeezing the low-paid `lifeblood'" (FE Focus, July 3), we referred to spending by The Manchester College. The figures attributed to the college in the UnisonUniversity and College Union survey, on which the story was based, in fact related to two predecessor institutions which merged to create The Manchester College in 2008.
The breakdown is as follows: Mancat spent Pounds 13,000 on agency staff in 2007- 08 and City College Manchester spent Pounds 1.214m. In the same financial year, Mancat spent Pounds 38,000 on consultants and the City College Manchester spent Pounds 426,000.
Principal Peter Tavernor, who was previously principal of Mancat, said that since merger he had made it a priority to reduce spending on agency staff and consultants to be more in line with Mancat's levels. He also wished to point out that the lowest salary at The Manchester College is Pounds 6.80 an hour.
Four colleges - Trafford in Manchester, City in Norwich, Colchester in Essex and Bournemouth and Poole in Dorset - have been accredited to offer the professional cookery diploma by the National Skills Academy for Hospitality. The hospitality sector has up to 1 million vacancies to fill over the next year.