Teachers and trainers crucial to Skills for Growth strategy
Thursday 12 November 2009
The Institute for Learning (IfL) has welcomed the publication of the Skills for Growth white paper, in which the government acknowledges that the "improvement in standards of teaching and learning across the further education and skills sector over the past decade has been a remarkable success story, which owes much to the dedication and professionalism of the lecturers and trainers".
Toni Fazaeli, chief executive of IfL, said, "The ambitions articulated in the white paper will depend on teachers and trainers, whose professional development in vocational and subject areas, teaching methods and the use of new technologies becomes even more important. Virtually every one of the 74 pages of the white paper has implications for the type and range of teaching and training needed.
"The gauntlet laid down in Lord Mandelson’s foreword that as a nation we need to make sure 'we have the skills that underwrite the industries of the future. Skills for hi-tech, low carbon-driven growth’ means that colleges, providers and national agencies will need to create new professional development opportunities for teachers and trainers.
"As the independent, professional body for teachers and trainers, IfL has a vital role to play in encouraging our members, ensuring that they have every opportunity to hone their expertise and develop their skills, including those needed for the high-tech growth that Lord Mandelson envisages. Some of the proposals will entail new ways of working for some teachers and trainers, who will no doubt show, yet again, their ability and willingness to adapt to changing needs.
"IfL strongly supports the idea that learners should be able to come out of college or training qualified and ready to run a business – some of our 198,000 or so members already prepare their learners to set up businesses in innovative and effective ways. I am pleased to announce that IfL will establish a special interest group of those who have expertise in teaching entrepreneurial skills and support their learners to set up their own businesses. IfL will invite other teachers and trainers to join the group, and partners like Business Link to contribute.
"The white paper also indicates that the government expects IfL to become self-financing within three years. IfL will work with members, partners and the government to develop membership funding arrangements that continue to deliver valuable benefits and services to our members, which in turn have a positive impact for their learners."