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Sector news, 22 - 28 September 2013

Labour calls time on the level 2 apprenticeship FE Week, 22 September 2013

Labour’s Skills Taskforce, chaired by Chris Husbands, has today published a report on apprenticeships entitled A revolution in apprenticeships: a something-for-something deal with employers. It says that to protect the apprenticeship brand, level 2 training should be renamed as a traineeship or similar. It also called for a universal gold standard for apprenticeships which would reduce much of the low quality provision which is of no value to employers or learners. Labour wanted to work towards a situation where all apprenticeships are level 3 or above, last a minimum of two years for level 3 or three years for level 4, and include at least a day a week of off-the-job training.

Veil ban college principal to retire FE Week, 23 September 2013

The principal of a Midland college at the centre of a row this month over the use of veils is to retire. Dame Christine Braddock, principal at Birmingham Metropolitan College, will be stepping down at the end of the academic year. The announcement comes weeks after the college hit national headlines when a prospective Muslim student was told of a college security policy preventing learners from wearing a niqab. The student, who did not want to be named, branded the policy “disgusting” and said she was being “discriminated against”. The policy was later amended. A spokesperson for the college said Dame Christine’s retirement at the end of the year had been planned since before the veil row and was “absolutely not” linked.