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There is life after lecturing

Fifteen thousand lecturers have been made redundant or retired early since colleges left local authority control. Anne Nicholls describes how three of the more entrepreneurial 'casualties' have branched out into alternative careers

As this year's batch of redundancy victims and early retirees leave further education, the inquisitive among us might pause to consider what actually happens to an ex-FE lecturer or manager.

Do they recycle themselves and reappear in a similar guise in a different institution? Do they repackage themselves, kit themselves up with a series of different "hats" and become self-employed consultants? Or do they toss away their academic heritage and retreat to rural Wales to make goats' cheese?

Among my former contemporaries, one opened a newsagent's (a former head of business studies), another a bed-and-breakfast (a former head of communications), a third set up a record-producing business specialising in obscure classical pieces (a former physics lecturer) and a fourth became a professional singer (an ex-photography lecturer). And there is always the possibility of running a pub. After all, if the ex-principal of Stoke-on-Trent College did it.

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