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Farron backs Cable's plan to support trainee teachers

August 1, 2013 4:13 PM

Tim and Vince CableSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has backed a plan from Business Minister Vince Cable to support people into teacher training. Grants of £20,000 will be offered to maths graduates to encourage them to teach in further education colleges.

This will improve the skills of those choosing vocational training, especially in areas like engineering where the UK has a massive skills shortage. There will also be £9,000 available for graduates teaching English.

Businesses have long complained that they cannot recruit young people with the right maths and English skills. The government's most recent Skills for Life Survey showed that 24% of the population (8.1 million people) lack basic numeracy, and 15% (5.1 million people) lack basic literacy.

Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable MP said: "Too many businesses tell me they cannot find young people with the numeracy and literacy skills they need.

"It's not just those planning on going to university who need to have a firm grasp of English and maths. These basic competencies are needed for all types of employment and it is not possible to enter a full Apprenticeship until then. This government money will help. It will help more young people get the skills needed to get a job."

Tim added: "In South Lakeland we have some fantastic local schools and the historic Charlotte Mason Campus and I hope that with this extra funding and support young people in South Lakeland will look at teaching for what it is - richly rewarding and helping open a world of possibilities for young people."

For 2013 to 2014 graduates will get funding toward their initial teacher training:

  • maths graduates could be eligible for £20,000
  • those wishing to teach English could be eligible for £9,000
  • those who want to specialise in teaching SEN students will be eligible for £9,0007

The bursaries will be available for 2 years as part of a government commitment to raising standards in the teaching of maths and English across the board.

In addition, £1 million in grants will fund high-level specialist training for those already working with students with SEN, through continuous professional development (CPD). This new package of support will help to equip teachers in the FE sector with the skills and confidence to help young people with SEN realise their full potential.