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A friend of mine felt that taking some vocational training as evening classes would be a way of enhancing his opportunities (at 52) to get back to work

Some excellent courses were advertised in a local paper at a local college which also said that "The college offers free tuition ot students enrolling on most examination and certificate courses who are unemployed and/or in receipt of certain state benefits". So he got in touch to book a place on 3 evening classes relating to Health & Safety. To be told that he couldn't get _any_ discount at all on these courses, but he could get 50% discount if he took a language course such as "Conversational German". After much digging found out that courses are funded by the FEFC (Further Education Finance Council) who have stipulated that only courses that are for in of excess of something like 25 hours will get full or partial funding !

So where has all the money gone to provide true vocational training ? How do those who need vocational training get it when out of work even though it will enhance their chances of getting employment ?

Anyone out there with experience of this ?

I was unemployed at 52 and got a 50% reduction on a FAETC (Further & Adult Education Teaching Certificate) course. After 18 months (2 hours a week for 52 sessions plus course work, monitored teaching sessions and all the rest) I had passed Stages 1 & 2 with flying colours. At the passing out ceremony the Vice Principal of the college I attended came in and told us he was sacking (retiring and not hiring) any tutors over 40.

The certificate did allow me to hawk my considerable business and other experience around and I got some (very) part-time lecturing work. It's main value was the improvement in my confidence and self-esteem. I still do some lecturing for community education courses on antiques.

More details on my website at

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