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LIFES: Call for Evidence

LIFES: Call for Evidence

16th September 2016

The Skills Commission is today extending its deadline for evidence submissions, with a new deadline of Friday 30th of September.

The LIFES (Leading Innovation in Further Education and Skills) inquiry Chaired by Neil Bates, Chief Executive of Prospects Learning Foundation, has been working to uncover and share innovative practice that is taking place within the FE & Skills system. The Skills Commission is asking sector experts what policy change can foster sector growth and stability and how they are leading the field through a variety of innovative practices.

As part of the inquiry into innovation in Further Education and Skills, the Skills Commission has engaged over 150 stakeholders as panellists, evidence session contributors and interviewees.

The range of stakeholders has been broad; from employers to providers, from membership organisations to city deal politicians, from Westminster politicians to teachers & students. We have heard evidence from stakeholders including Julie James AM, Minister for Skills in the Welsh Government and other elected politicians; Naomi Eisenstadt CB, Independent Advisor to Scotland’s First Minister on Poverty and Inequality; Sue Murphy CBE, Chair of the Board of the LTE Group and Deputy Leader of Manchester City council.

The Commission has travelled the length and breadth of the United Kingdom to hear from everyone with a stake in the skills system. The development of skills will continue to be vital to protect the future economy of the United Kingdom, and to ensure that all learners can acquire the skills that they want and that employers need.

The Commission's travel across the UK has been an invaluable opportunity to not only gather evidence for the inquiry, but to facilitate greater collaboration between the many different parts of the FE & Skills system.

So said Daniel Johnson MSP, Labour spokesman on Education in the Scottish Parliament:

“It was great to come along and have all these people in one place and to hear many different perspectives on the skills systems in Scotland and England. With the risks and opportunities posed by automation, the work of the Skills Commission (and FETL) in informing the debate is vital in helping us develop an improved 16-24 skills system which enables progression and access to stable employment”

And now the Commission wants to hear from all those stakeholders with whom they are yet to engage, whether it be an employer, a skills provider or a learner. The Commission wants to hear as many examples of innovative practice as possible. What is working? What isn’t? What more can be done to make innovative skills provision possible?

The Commission is today extending the deadline for colleagues to submit written evidence to the inquiry. We want to ensure we have as wider spread of views and opinions as possible.

To give evidence to the Skills Commission, please download the call for evidence detail on the right hand side of this page, or contact Aaron Bowater on 0207 202 8576 / by Friday 30th of September 2016.