John Hayes is Minister for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning

I have long been a believer in the power of learning and its ability to transform and enrich the lives of individuals and their communities. I know, as the new Minister for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, that this belief sits at the heart of this Government and its policies.

We recognise the importance of education and skills to building and maintaining a strong economy. It is plain to see that without the right skills we will struggle to compete in the modern world.

However, this does not mean that we need completely centralised control of the further education system. Of course we must ensure colleges, learning providers and training organisations are responding to the needs of employers and learners in their area, but they also need to be free from unnecessary bureaucracy.

Vince Cable and I have written to the Chief Executive of the Skills Funding Agency setting out our ambitions for the agency in 2010-11. Some of these will be challenging, in particular the need for colleges to find efficiencies. But high among those priorities is also doing more to simplify the landscape and give colleges greater freedom to find new, better and more efficient ways of responding to local needs.

I have also written to colleges and training organisations announcing a number of ways the burdens on them will be lightened. Among other measures, I will work to bring colleges in line with schools in respect of Ofsted inspection, so that colleges which achieve outstanding results do not face inspection unless their performance drops. And I will enable all colleges, except those which are performing poorly, to move money between adult learner and employer responsive budgets.

These changes are just the beginning and an indication of this Government's commitment to freeing the sector from the constraints that prevent it delivering the best it can.

At the beginning of this month we announced that we were cutting the Train to Gain budget by £200 million. I know that there have been a lot of comments about this in the sector. It is important to remember that this is not actually a spending reduction. £50 million of that money is being recycled into new capital grants for colleges. The remaining £150 million will pay for 50,000 extra apprenticeship places this year.

It is no secret that this Government holds Apprenticeships in high regard. We know that they are a route out of unemployment for many young people and they provide a great boost to the UK's productivity. Their value lies in the fact that they are designed by employers for employers. They are based on real jobs in the economy and tailored to the needs of the workforce.

However, we also recognise the need for a range of training options. They are not the be-all and end-all of workplace training. That's why it has never been our intention transfer the whole work based learning budget to the Apprenticeships budget. We are committed to supporting high quality workplace training alongside apprenticeships. And we will do this whilst avoiding the pitfalls of excessive bureaucracy.

As well as recognising the fundamental role it plays in economic growth, I also want to stress that this Government also passionately believes in for learning for its own sake. We emphasise the economic and overlook the social and cultural benefits of learning at our peril.

My strong commitment to adult and community learning is well known. It is shared by my Secretary of State and the Prime Minster. By happy coincidence, my first full week in post was also Adult Learners' Week, which enabled me to deliver my first major speech at the NIACE lifelong learning policy conference.

The inspiring stories I heard during Adult Learners' Week really highlighted the difference that learning can make. By feeding the thirst for new competences adult learning often leads to further training and by equipping people with skills it frequently makes them more employable. It shapes people, their families and communities and makes a substantial contribution to creating a society founded on social mobility and social justice.

I will do my utmost to support the further education and skills sector and create the right environment to ensure that it flourishes and is free to reach its full potential. As W.B Yeats wrote, 'Education is not the filling of the pail but the lighting of a fire'. Learning is a fire that can light lives, warm hearts and bring hope. And, at this challenging time, learning with the enhanced skills it brings is vital to building a competitive economy and a cohesive society.

John Hayes is Minister for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 55 minutes ago

RT @EdTech_Summit: Experts including @DavidRussellETF @vikkiliogier @teresaetfound & Janet Clark from the Education and Training Foundation…
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page