Learning symposium next week

7th October 2005 at 01:00
Ten years after the launch of FE Focus, we asked 50 leaders, thinkers and policy-makers: "If you could achieve one thing in the sector, what would it be?"

The results, published on our relaunched website (www.fefocus.co.uk) today, reveal a sector still ill-at-ease with itself and struggling for an identity. But it is also seen as a sector vital to thriving economy.

Colleges and training groups are partly to blame, says Chris Humphries, director general of City and Guilds. They should be seen as central to building a world-class economy, but "collectively they are not good enough yet to merit the accolade."

But government is equally culpable, says Geoff Daniels, director of funding for the Leaning and Skills Council. "The sector's contribution is not seen or valued by decision-makers and opinion-formers as well as it should be."

Issues raised will be debated at the first TES national learning and skills symposium in London next week. Speakers include Bill Rammell, further and higher education minister, and Sir Andrew Foster, head of the Government review of FE.

The symposium is also based on the work of the Concord group - an affiliation of 10 national organisations for post-16 education providers and students - seeking a new agreement with government on the future of the sector.

What they think 5

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