John Hayes MP interview with the BILD

by | Jul 24, 2009 | Articles

Early in July Karen Velasco of the British Institute for Learning and Development interviewed John Hayes Shadow Minister for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education. The aim was to discover how the Conservative view of skills development differed from that of Labour, particularly within times of recession.

Whilst acknowledging that training is frequently cut back during these times he outlined three ways in which his Party would support employers.
1. Supply side reform. They would make investing in skills less bureaucratic.
2. Boosting apprenticeships. Paying bonuses to every small and medium sized company that took on an apprentice.
3. Overcoming doubts of that investment by making sure the money goes direct to the employers.

With regard to F.E. and H.E courses he stressed the need for them to be much more demand-led, citing a need for good collaboration between employers and trainers, creating responsive and dynamic training opportunities.

The method of funding in these areas was described as ‘complex, convoluted and opaque.’ Under Conservative rule the funding council would be reinvented as a slim structure possibly known as the Skills Funding Agency.

Funding for Adult and Community learning was also mentioned with £100 million extra to be pledged for providing re-skilling routes.

He summarised his thinking in three points:

  • Elevate the practical. Have faith in vocational practical skills.
  • Need for immensely flexible teaching and learning e.g. part-time learning, distance learning, modular learning.
  • Elevating the role of the teacher. Belief in the power of learning and the role of the educators.

He ended the interview with this statement;

“ …the 1944 Education Act talked about education for democratic citizenship. I say we should aim for no less with our generation in our era. Let’s be bold and ambitious for what we can achieve. As politicians we can play our parts but much more important are the teachers and the learners that really make the difference.”

You can watch the full interviews on Youtube by clicking on the following links

John Hayes MP Interview –  part 1

John Hayes  MP Interview part  – 2

Thank you to BILD for this great interview.

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