Lords launch inquiry into the state of technical education

The House of Lords has called for an inquiry into whether or not FE and vocational training is funded fairly.

Lord Forsyth (pictured above), the chair of the economic affairs committee, is asking for written submissions to be sent in by September 14.

There are a number of FE areas he is hoping to receive submissions for, including the sector’s thoughts on the apprenticeships levy and the government’s target of three million new apprenticeships by 2020.

The post-16 skills plan, based on the recommendations from Lord Sainsbury’s review of technical education, is also on the agenda, as are the much anticipated T-levels, which will give 16- to 19 year-olds the option to study for technical qualifications in 15 sectors.

The inquiry will also look at higher education.

“Successive governments have committed to increasing participation in higher education,” he said. “More recently the government has pledged to increase the number of apprenticeships offered.”

“For those who do not go to university, is the system of further education and vocational training funded fairly? Should there be a greater focus on technical qualifications in STEM subjects to fill shortages in the labour market?”

The committee is keen to gather evidence from those with “direct knowledge” of the issues, including students, recent graduates and apprentices, but it also wants to hear from businesses and enterprise on whether the current system “equips workers with the necessary skills for the modern economy”.

“For our inquiry to be effective we need to hear as many views and experiences as possible,” he said. “Written evidence will play an important role in informing our work and I would encourage anyone with knowledge, or an interest in this area, to return a submission by September 14, 2017.”

Anyone wanting to give written evidence should submit their views online here.

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