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FE colleges are not industry experts - partnerships with employers are vital to tackle skills gaps, says Dr Sam Parrett OBE.

With FE being placed in pole position to drive the economy forward post-Covid, thoughts are turning to what future provision should look like and how it should be delivered. 

The Skills for Jobs White Paper has a clear steer towards an employer-led approach, which much of FE has already embraced and is keen to build on.  

The Skills and Post-16 Education Bill presented to Parliament this week highlighted the government’s commitment to lifelong learning, with (among other things) an expansion of funded adult courses to help people of all ages and from all backgrounds to upskill, retrain and secure fulfilling employment.

Seeing adult education at the top of the political agenda was both unique and encouraging – and this enthusiasm needs to be maintained.


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