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Current and future challenges facing LCFE

LCFE recognises that it is facing a period of significant change in the emerging FET sector. The College has demonstrated its responsiveness to and engagement with stakeholders over the period of the last strategic plan. It recognises that its strengths lie in its reputation for quality programmes, strong learner support and an ethos embedded in pastoral care, open communications and team-working.

The stated principles guiding FET strategy set down in the NESC review (NESC, 2013) of flexibility and responsiveness in delivery, robust evaluation of outcomes and the development of courses that meet the skills needs of local and regional employers have been to the forefront of LCFE strategy.

The next four years offer many opportunities to LCFE including the further development of its nationally and internationally recognized programmes, its engagement with partners, and leveraging its strong alumni and industry links.

LCFE has clearly demonstrated its strengths, its ability to respond to local needs, the quality of teaching and learning and its open engagement with stakeholders over the past four years. The College is well positioned to address the opportunities presented in the newly structured FET sector. The new FET landscape will also bring new FET providers into the region. LCFE is mindful of the potential role of private providers and a more competitive landscape and is open to exploring partnership arrangements. LCFE believes that partnerships with other education and training providers are vital to the successful delivery of a seamless, barrier-free sector. The College is keenly aware of the contributions of other direct and indirect state-funded providers and have already well-developed relationships with schools, adult and community education programmes and providers in other contexts. LCFE is confident of its ability to deliver a value for money FET service through sole provision of relevant programmes, designed to meet local and regional needs or partnership arrangements, that will support LCFE strategic goals and meet the needs of learners.

The new structures in FET, specifically the Education and Training Boards, present opportunities for partnership at regional and national level and LCFE looks forward to expanding its provision of programmes through leveraging its experience with that of the new ETB. LCFE welcomes the setting up of the FET Division within the LCETB, headed up by a Further Education and Training Officer. LCFE will work closely with this FET Division with a view to progressing its objectives.

LCFE is confident that this new strategic plan for the period 2014-2018 will enable the College to deliver an enhanced learning experience that equips learners with both the skills and generic competences required for the future in an environment that supports inclusiveness, diversity and respect for all.