Don't neglect practical maths and English
Kirstie Donnelly responds to Ofsted's Further Education and Skills annual lecture
10 September 2014
Ofsted gave its Further Education and Skills Annual Lecture today.
Speaking about the lecture, Kirstie Donnelly, UK Managing Director of City & Guilds, said:
'Even though it’s great to see a fall in the numbers of young people not in education, training or employment, there are much deeper issues behind the statistics.
'Ofsted is spot on about the participation age – keeping young people in education until they are 18 does not mean they are prepared for the workplace. Too many leave school without the practical, hands-on skills in numeracy and literacy that employers want. The problem is that the Government tends to favour GCSE qualifications as the only measure for achievement at Level 2, which is a barrier for many young people.
'Why wouldn’t they want all young people to have the chance to get the literacy and numeracy skills they need to succeed in the world of work? That’s why we are calling on the Government to recognise that maths and English qualifications must be relevant to the workplace. After all, it will serve nobody’s purpose if we prevent teenagers from becoming NEETs only to transfer the problem to adults in their early 20s.
'We also welcome Ofsted’s call for colleges to work closely with local employers. It’s something we’ve been promoting for a long time, and believe that it’s vital in giving young people relevant and useful skills to get them into employment. An example of this is our new TechBac curriculum which provides opportunities for young people to interact with employers through work experience, the completion of a technical project and industry mentoring.
'Likewise, Ofsted is right to urge local authorities to more effectively monitor the status of learners in FE colleges. The prospect of a postcode lottery in terms of the FE opportunities available is immensely worrying, and proper destination data is vital if we are to ensure gaps in provision are filled.'