Cash payments to lecturers and action to narrow the funding gap between colleges and schools were announced by the Government this week.
Golden hellos of pound;5,000 are being offered to encourage recruitment in subjects where there is a shortage of lecturers. They are part of a package of measures which the Government predicts will make 3,000 lecturers better-off.
The cash payments have been announced by Education Secretary Ruth Kelly as she promises that the gap in funding between FE and schools will be reduced by more than a third next year.
Action on the funding gap will bolster lecturers' demand for pay parity with school teachers.
Golden hellos will be available to lecturers once they have started their second year of teaching in one of a list of "shortage subjects".
The subjects are business administration, science, construction, information technology, English, design and technology, engineering and basic skills. These areas need more staff to teach the new 14-19 vocational diplomas, says the Department for Education and Skills.
There will also be "enhanced" golden hellos to those in their second year of teaching maths and construction, as well as bursaries of pound;6,000 to Pounds 9,000 for student teachers in shortage subjects, Ms Kelly told the Association of Colleges' annual conference on Wednesday. She said: "Golden hellos and bursaries are being developed to boost recruitment in a wider range of shortage subjects. Together, they will benefit over 3,000 lecturers."
Colleges get 13 per cent less than schools for 16 to 18-year-olds, according to the Learning and Skills Development Agency. Ms Kelly says this will be reduced to 8 per cent in 20067. After 2008, the DfES calculates it can reduce the gap to 5 per cent by removing "anomalies" in funding between schools and colleges.
John Brennan, the AoC's chief executive, told delegates: "It is both unfair to learners and prejudicial to the long-term value of colleges that teenagers at college are funded to the tune of some pound;400 less than teenagers at school."