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Consider Alternative Education Proposal

‘Put Students First’ call from Chamber

A call for the States to put students and the island’s future workforce first by voting for the alternative proposal, rather than Education’s preferred option, has come from the Chamber of Commerce. It says the Department’s approach is ‘Fatally flawed’ because it does not deal with the real issues surrounding attracting the best possible teachers and will also prove disastrously expensive.

Chamber, which has more than 600 corporate members encompassing some 18,000 individuals, says Education’s preferred proposal will ‘Sign the death knell’ of the College of Further Education at a time when equipping youngsters with necessary skills on-island is seen as pivotal for the future of business here.

Aside from the direct implications for Guernsey College, Chamber points out that ‘What students need, above all else, are the best possible teachers/lecturers. The best teachers/lecturers need a structure that allows career progression, local management and the age span and depth appropriate to their chosen subjects. That issue, coupled with existing uncertainty about how long teachers can stay under housing limitations, presents a serious threat to recruitment and retention: ‘And, ultimately, it is our young people’s education that will suffer.’

‘Guernsey Chamber exists to support local industry in all of its forms and to lobby on behalf of members. We have no doubt that the business arena will suffer if industry is deprived of well-equipped employees going forward,’ said a spokesman. Chamber also wonders whether new national employer-led qualifications (T levels) planned for 2019 were considered as part of Education’s post-16 strategy.

The organisation believes that the ‘alternative model’ to be considered by the States in January will ensure that the Guernsey College remains a viable and vibrant centre for young people to acquire the theoretical and practical skills needed. ‘Voting for this proposal will also enable the College of F E to enjoy some certainty about its future plans and begin organising its expansion and development.

‘What we want to see going forward is the creation of what in the UK is referred to as a “university college”. It would provide training in major areas such as health, building and construction, business and catering and hospitality where faculties are overseen by industry and teaching staff. A demand-led education.

Chamber believes that the Education Department’s proposed plan to split vocational education across two institutions will prove disastrous for many students and industry as a whole. ‘There is no question that if industry wants to properly work with their vocational students and for that to be effectively viable, they have to have the whole lot under one roof.’

The organisation feels that only the ‘alternative proposals’ before the States in January will provide an opportunity for students to benefit from working with industry, will give them the best possible choices and scale as well as the ability to enable effective self-management. Having the university college in charge of its own future will allow the full incorporation of the benefits of industry involvement. We owe this to Guernsey’s future workforce.’

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St Peter Port, Guernsey
GY1 1WN

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