AoC Sport welcomes Lord Sainsbury report and new skills plan

AoC Sport, in partnership with the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA), has reviewed with interest the Report of the Independent Panel on Technical Education, chaired by Lord Sainsbury, and broadly agrees with all 34 recommendations made.

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AoC Sport has concerns that the sport and physical activity sector isn’t given its own direct route within the plans, despite the fact it is key area of growth within the economy underpinned by significant technical knowledge and skills.

The underlying principle of a single set of standards, developed by employers, for those studying academic or technical qualifications, either through an apprenticeship or a college course, aligns closely to the work currently being undertaken by CIMSPA and delivered through further education colleges.

AoC Sport also endorses the government’s response to the report, as published today in its “Post-16 Skills Plan” by Skills Minister Nick Boles, which accepts the Lord Sainsbury recommendations in full.

Commenting on the reports, Colin Huffen, Strategic lead for policy said: “It’s very encouraging to learn that colleges are at the heart of the reforms as the key delivery route for technical education, recognising the quality of their provision.

“A skilled workforce engendered by engaged employers and supported by colleges will be the backbone of this country’s future economic success. We are pleased the work of CIMSPA in developing an employer-led approach to skills development, aligns to the government’s own approach.

“The need for a clear and transparent education pathway that young people, parents and employers all understand is essential if we are going to deliver on the government’s aims set out in the “Sporting Future” strategy.

“We look forward to elevating the role and importance played by colleges and their close relationships with employers in the sport and physical activity sector to ensure that, going forwards, we are a more prominent part in government thinking on education and skills than has been the case to date.

“Tackling inactivity has been put firmly on the health and sporting policy agenda; our job is to now do the same in the area of education and skills.”

Through our close working relationships with AoC and CIMSPA we are already in early dialogue with government to discuss this and how our sector can heavily influence the rollout and implementation of these recommendations.

There is a clear opportunity to shape them on behalf of our sector and we look forward to working with the DfE and others to do so.