Cultural Playing Field

‘Skills for Sustainable growth’ consultation event by Robin Simpson
September 10, 2010, 11:34 am
Filed under: meetings | Tags: , , , , ,

On Thursday I was back in London to take part in a consultation event at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills as part of the Department’s ‘Skills for Sustainable growth’ consultation. This gave me a first chance to see John Hayes, the Minister for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, speak. He is a passionate and entertaining performer and seems genuinely enthusiastic about his responsibilities and the importance of learning in its broadest sense. It was great, in the context of a discussion about vocational skills, to hear the Minister stress that “adult and community learning is incredibly important and something the Secretary of State [Vince Cable] and I care about”. He also spoke about the need to make the “social and cultural case for skills” in terms of “the effect they have in communities”. We then broke into groups to discuss a number of key questions from the ‘Skills for Sustainable growth’ consultation paper. Coincidentally, the group I joined consisted almost entirely of third sector organisations and we had a useful discussion about the role of the third sector in skills development and I stressed the need to recognise that many people develop vocational skills through their participation in voluntary arts groups and other community activities, rather than through formal training. Following the completion of the consultation, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is considering producing a white paper on skills towards the end of this year.

Robin Simpson.

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