Diversity is further education's strength, says lifelong learning minister

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Lifelong learning minister Bill Rammell will be speaking today at a conference looking at the role that further education colleges can play in promoting community cohesion.

The conference, organised by the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education, comes at a time when the government is investing £50 million over the next three years to promote initiatives and has recently released a public consultation document on the topic of community cohesion.

The joint Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS)and Association of Colleges document focuses on promoting community cohesion as a fundamental factor for combating the perceived threat of terrorism.

Speakers at the conference include Bill Rammell, the minister for lifelong learning. Delegates will be given ideas on how to create a practical strategy of supporting community cohesion as well as how to make a case for government funds to support any initiatives.

Bill Rammell MP said: “Colleges have a great deal to contribute to the promotion of community cohesion, from the specialist work of providing English teaching for speakers of other languages to something as simple and yet as powerful as providing an environment where people from different social groups can build positive relationships as they learn alongside one another.

"The FE sector offers a vast range of opportunities for learners from a diverse range of backgrounds and communities. This is one of its strengths. FE also provides a really important environment for fostering shared values of respect, tolerance and freedom of expression which underpin community cohesion.

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