Stop skills shortage

10th November 2006 at 00:00
Irene Austin Anne McKown NATECLA South Birmingham College

The article "We failed our own people by degrees, says Ken" (FE Focus, October 27) highlighted the fact that the skills shortages in London will not necessarily be met by Londoners going to university.

Ken Livingstone told the education and skills committee that it was wrong to end automatic fee remission for English for speakers of other languages (Esol).

Given the substantial numbers of residents for whom English is not their first language, and the employment needs in the capital, the National Association of Teaching English and other Community Languages to Adults fully supports his views.

The government proposals, in their present form, are likely to exacerbate the social exclusion of some of the most deprived community groups. The Government commissioned an inquiry into Esol but has chosen to ignore the funding recommendations made by the committee.

The National Institute for Continuing Adult Education committee accepted that not all free tuition could be maintained, given the unmet demand, but its model of an entitlement up to level 1 and recommendation that asylum-seekers should be entitled to fee remission in cases where a decision had not been within eight weeks have not been taken on board.

These recommendations would go further to ensure community cohesion and integration would be achieved. NATECLA therefore urges this Government to reconsider its decision.

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,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today