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Shakira and Vince launch clear vision for vocational learning

Tuesday 5 September 2017 NUS News

A new NUS report – Students Shaping the Post-16 Skills Plan - provides a range of recommendations for college and work-based education.

NUS President Shakira Martin has launched a new report on further education today, alongside Sir Vince Cable MP in Westminster.

Students Shaping the Post-16 Skills Plan sets out a range of policy recommendations in relation to the ongoing reforms of the FE and skills sector.

It outlines a clear vision for what students believe make for excellent vocational teaching and learning. 

The project came about in response to the lack of consultation and involvement of students during the wave of reforms being pushed through in the FE sector.

In calling for a more 'student-centred' approach, Shakira and Vince both drew upon their wide experience in further education.

NUS president Shakira Martin said:

“While we welcome many of the proposals in the Skills Plan, the discussions we have had with our members make it clear the government have really missed an opportunity to fully review the needs of further education in the round, not just skills and technical education.

"Through our roundtable discussions with students and sector experts we have developed a comprehensive set of policy recommendations that focus on what students want from their education, including a better careers IAG offer, civic education and representation and input across all levels of decision making in the sector.

"We will continue to challenge the government when it solely focuses on what employers want. While employers play a role, to truly understand the wider social, cultural and economic impact that further education system to a wide range of people, students voices must be at the centre of policy debate.”

Sir Vince Cable said:

 "I was delighted to be asked to undertake this project with the NUS and thank them for the work they are doing advocating for improvements in further education. Improving the quality and standing of FE is something I have always felt strongly about, both on a personal  level, as FE is something many members of my family have benefitted from, and on a political level.

"We cannot underestimate the importance of this sector in ensuring we continue to grow and develop skills and industries across the country.

"As a Minister in the Coalition Government I was able to take steps to improve and expand the apprenticeships programme. But as this research shows, there is still a long way to go to ensure that further education is truly accessible to all, and that students feel they get a rounded, high quality experience which delivers tangible benefits to them in the world of work.”