Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education, has given his personal commitment to put further and technical education at the heart of post-16 education.
In a speech to the Social Market Foundation, the minister outlined his vision for the sector and urged more serious consideration of the post-16 education system adding “FE’s ability to offer flexible, practical training that leads directly to jobs is exactly what this country needs”.
A new Further Education (FE) White Paper, to be published this Autumn, will set out the government’s plans to build a world-class, “German-style” FE system in England – “a comprehensive plan to change the fundamentals of England’s FE landscape”.
The White Paper will focus on two key themes. The first will be high-quality qualifications based on employer-led standards at the heart of a new technical system. The second will be to ensure that FE colleges play a leading role in developing skills in their geographical areas by responding to local economic needs.
White Papers enable the government to present policy preferences before legislation is introduced. Publishing a White Paper tests public opinion on policy issues and helps gauge potential impact.