Exeter College Principal and Chief Executive John Laramy CBE took part in a virtual roundtable with government ministers and other sector leaders as the Government published its Skills for Jobs White Paper.  

The White Paper, which focuses on revolutionising post-16 education for the benefit of businesses, learners and the wider community, was discussed with Education Secretary Gavin Williamson CBE MP and Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills Gillian Keegan MP.  

Discussions included how colleges could continue to innovate and work directly with businesses in order to meet the skills challenges of the future and set out a blueprint for a further education system that ensures everyone, at any point in their lives, can get the skills they need to work effectively in the economy of the future. 

In addition, the White Paper aims to create the right balance between Higher Education and Further Education. The strong partnership between the University of Exeter and Exeter College is perhaps a current example of this, with a Russell Group University and an Ofsted Outstanding College working together for the good of a city and region. 

The White Paper comes on the back of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s visit to Exeter College in 2020, where he set out his vision for a Lifetime Skills Guarantee, aiming to help adults get access to the education they need to retrain for a new career. 

Speaking after the virtual roundtable, John Laramy CBE said, “It was great to be able to have a discussion with government ministers as the further education sector takes centre stage with this White Paper. 

“It certainly feels like the voice of further education is being heard and the Government has acknowledged that for this country to bounce back from the pandemic, we need a vibrant, engaging and impactful further education system. 

“At Exeter College, we aim to operate at the heart of the community, working with schools, the University, councils and the Local Enterprise Partnership to make a difference to the lives of the people and businesses we serve. Hopefully this White Paper can help all colleges to be a real engine for social mobility, a driver for increasing productivity and have positive impact on prosperity.”  

Measures set out in the White Paper include plans for employers to have a central role in designing all technical courses by 2030, more flexible student finance for learners to be able to retrain throughout their lives and boosting the uptake of Higher Technical Qualifications.  

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