Commenting on the publication of the Foster Review of Further Education, Bill Midgley, President of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“BCC welcomes the publication of Sir Andrew Foster's review of further education.

“The drive to increase quality is absolutely essential. Giving FE colleges a single economic purpose will ultimately help to provide our workforce with the skills they need.

“We believe college specialisms that reflect the needs of the local economy could help improve the skills of the local workforce. However it is essential that the colleges are not dominated by the interests of a few selected companies within their area. They must be flexible enough to also consider smaller companies and adapt to changing needs of the local economy.

“We welcome Sir Andrew's support for opening up the market where FE Colleges are failing. However we have repeatedly called for the Government to consider freeing up more of the FE budget so that employers have a real choice in the provider they use. More of the workforce development budget needs to follow the employer so that the FE sector is effective and responsive to local labour market needs.”