Time to act on recruitment

10th February 2006 at 00:00
Data analysed by Lifelong Learning UK may have provoked your columnist Stephen Jones to indulge in a flight of fancy (A third-world conspiracy, FE Focus, January 27), but the facts are anything but funny.

Our analysis of the Staff Individualised Records colleges submit to the Learning and Skills Council is confirmation that we need to address a demographic timebomb. The bulk of college staff are in their 40s and 50s.

Just 19 per cent are aged under 35. Action on several fronts is necessary, especially as all areas of the economy will soon be recruiting from a shrinking population who are of working age. Employers will obviously be in competition to secure the available talent.

As the body responsible for workforce development, we are in the process of developing standards-based qualifications structures and career pathways that will offer more flexibility and opportunity to existing and prospective staff.

But more will need to be done and that must include looking very hard at how we can invest in our workforce, and make working in colleges and the wider sector a career of first choice for those from the UK and beyond.

David Hunter Chief executive Lifelong Learning UK London

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