FURTHER education lecturers will have up to three years to gain a compulsory teaching qualification under plans issued this week.
Speaking at the first national conference of FENTO, the training organisation for the sector, lifelong learning minister Malcolm Wicks said the standards would improve tuition, in-crease achievement and reduce drop-out rates.
Full-time lecturers would have to pass a new-style Cert Ed (FE) within two yars while the estimated 100,000 part-timers would have three years to qualify.
Part-time staff drawn from industry with up-to-date skills are "an asset which we want to nurture and protect" and should not be deterred by minimum teaching qualifications, the report says.
It also proposes setting up a professional body to oversee the qualifications and keep a register of qualified teachers. Consultation ends next month.