FE chiefs warn of red tape

12th July 1996 at 01:00
Labour's plans for investment in training could become as bureaucratic and unwieldy as the Government's nursery vouchers scheme, leading figures in further education and training have warned.

The centrepiece of Labour's programme of lifelong learning is the learn-as-you-earn account, a savings scheme which will attract start-up cash from the Government and allow employees to invest their pay in education and retraining.

Labour has reaffirmed its commitment to the scheme, but fails to spell out precisely how it will be funded. All it stresses is that levies are "not appropriate".

College heads were sceptical. "Learning accounts are likely to be as bureaucratic and costly as any other voucher or loan scheme," says Adrian Perry, principal of Lambeth College, who believes Labour should subsidise fees for training.

Plans to ensure that all young people over 16 should continue in part-time or full-time education and a pledge to broaden A-levels and improve vocational qualifications were endorsed by further education principals.

Labour also stresses its aim that all young people should be on the road to a qualification by the year 2000, compared to a current figure of just 64 per cent of 19-year-olds.

The party will focus on young people who have been unemployed for more than six months and ensure that they are offered a job or training under its Target 2000 programme. This scheme will be financed by a windfall tax on the privatised utilities.

Labour's commitment to adult learning includes the University for Industry project, and a bid by colleges and universities to provide material for adults to use in long-distance education programmes.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today