Secretary of State Makes First Speech on Priorities [June 2010]
Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills made his first major address since coming into office. The speech which took place at the Cass Business School on Thursday 3rd June 2010 contained promising content about the value placed upon lifelong learning:
"My priorities are an increased emphasis on lifelong learning, stripping out some of the bureaucracy around FE and making sure that the outdated value distinction between blue collar apprenticeships, and further education on one hand and university on the other is disposed of for good"
"Education and learning are of course desirable in their own right. Education for education’s sake – learning how to learn - benefits the economy in the long term. Philistinism is bad economics. It is also fundamentally unacceptable.
A story from own life makes the point. My mother and father left school at fifteen to work in factories. My father eventually taught building trades in the local technical college: we need more people like him. My mother was a housewife and when I was ten she had a major nervous breakdown and spent time in a mental hospital. When she recovered she saved her mind through adult education – learning for the first time about history, literature, philosophy and art. We need more people like her too"
This recognition of the importance of lifelong learning and adult education is a boost for the sector, however we will have to wait to see how this translates into policy over the coming months.
To read the speech in full please visit: http://www.bis.gov.uk/news/speeches/cass-business-school
For commentary on the speech from NIACE visit: http://www.niace.org.uk/news/niace-welcomes-vince-cable%E2%80%99s-speech