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ViewPoint by Anne Milton: Developing Skills For The #FutureofWork
June 10, 2019
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Developing skills for the jobs of the future: Helping people develop the skills, and grow the qualification portfolio, so they’re ready for jobs that don’t exist yet.

You can look at that in two ways:

Young People: First of all it’s the people who are young now, so people who are coming up to 16. We need to make sure we’ve got the right courses and qualifications that they need.

Adult Learners: Then of course there’s also adults, who maybe need to up-skill or change their skillset.

T Levels for Young People

For younger people we have got T levels, which are coming in in 2020. The first three T levels will be in: Read more

ViewPoint: What Ofsted’s New Inspection Framework Means for FE by Billy Camden
May 14, 2019
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Ofsted has today published its new and final education inspection framework that will come into effect from September.

It follows a three-month public consultation, which prompted more than 15,000 responses – the highest number the education watchdog has ever received. Read more

ViewPoint: Anne Milton – ‘We are Bringing About a Breakthrough in Careers’
April 29, 2019
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Sixteen months on from the launch of the careers strategy there is a real buzz of excitement about careers, insists the skills minister when talking to TES

When I first became minister of state for skills and apprenticeships, I heard all too often that careers education and guidance was not reaching all those young people most in need of it.

Despite the good intentions and hard work of many, careers provision was patchy and too reliant on a chance encounter or a well-connected parent.

But what if you are from a family without these connections? What if you are from a disadvantaged community and do not have access to a wide range of opportunities?

That is why I was delighted to publish the careers strategy in 2017, which sets out our ambitions for a world-class careers system. Our aim is to create a thriving careers system. One that helps people to make the most of their skills and talents.

Read more

ViewPoint: The Apprenticeship Levy – If Rationing is to be Introduced, Let’s Get it Right
April 5, 2019
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There has been recent scrutiny about the forecasted overspend of the levy. UVAC has been predicting this for some time and now the Institute (IfATE) and the National Audit Office have confirmed this is an issue writes Mandy Crawford-Lee, Director of Policy and Operations, University Vocational Awards Council (UVAC).

We are now in a situation where ‘proposals’ for a way forward are being put forward, so here is a view from the perspective of an organisation that wants the levy to be used to raise productivity, enhance social mobility and support the delivery of high-quality public services.

Bizarre Proposals: We’ve had some fairly curious proposals on how to manage such an overspend.

AELP has called for an end to using the levy to fund level 6 and 7 and degree apprenticeships.

So as UVAC has said on many occasions, it is the case that AELP wants to stop police forces using their levy payments to fund the police constable degree apprenticeship to train new police officers and prevent the NHS from training new nurses through a degree apprenticeship. Read more

ViewPoint: How Should Providers Interpret the ‘new’ ESFA Guidance on Prior Learning?
March 20, 2019
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It is an add-on rather than an update – and could be an attempt to claw back funding or scare providers into discount pricing, says Simon Ashworth, Chief policy officer, Association of Employment and Learning Providers

Earlier this week the ESFA published guidance on the recognition of prior learning. It’s important to note this is additional guidance, rather than specifically new or updated funding rules. With apprenticeship funding now finally acknowledged as running in short supply, there may be more emphasis on how providers account for prior learning in order to claw back funding or scare providers into discount pricing.

Ten years ago the sector experienced a crackdown on providers claiming additional learning support. A few providers were made an example of and others quickly scaled back their financial claims but continued to offer the additional support while not getting paid for it. Let’s hope we don’t see a repeat of the latter.

The previous iterations of the funding rules were much more specific about tackling “embedded qualifications” with fixed rates of funding reductions that governed the apprenticeship frameworks, which were all built around qualifications. Read more

ViewPoint: Top Tips for Recruiting the Best Apprentices
March 14, 2019
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With the end of the academic year approaching, recruitment for apprenticeships is likely to be the focus of many L&D managers. FrancesFrances Nicholson NicholsonHead Of Operations at National Skills Academy for Health,  shares her views on “how to get the cream of the crop”.

Be modern, social and mobile friendly
The young people of today have grown up in the digital age and are incredibly tech savvy so you need to engage with them through online platforms. You can reach out to the post-millennial generation through social media rather than simply relying on the Find an Apprenticeship website.

Use your recruitment strategy to try to engage people who might not have even considered apprenticeships yet. Link your social media posts to your careers site so prospective candidates can find out more about the culture of your organisation. Read more

ViewPoint: Markets Aren’t the Panacea for Public Services
March 6, 2019
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The failure of the provider should prompt us to reflect seriously on the role of the marketplace in learning and skills, says Stephen Evans, Chief executive, Learning and Work Institute 

Working Links’ fall into administration is bad news for the people they support and their employees. Its case is different to that of learndirect and other providers. But together, they should give pause for thought about the nature of markets in learning and skills and their limits.

Firstly, commissioners need to be realistic. A large part of Working Links’ problems came from its struggling probation contracts. Its management and staff bear responsibility for bad practice, such as assessing probation users as lower risk to avoid putting sufficient resources into helping them. But the government should have heeded the warnings at the time of procurement that you couldn’t cut huge amounts of money out of the system without affecting the service. Added to a focus on price, rather than value, this leads to a vicious circle where providers either put in unrealistic bids or face going out of business. Read more

ViewPoint: ‘It is Time We Start Listening to Teenagers on Careers’
February 28, 2019
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Educators, employers, parents and the government must take note of teenagers’ views, writes Bev Jones, joint chief executive of the Career Colleges Trust.

New research published on 26th February 2019 suggests that nearly a third of teenagers in Britain are worried about “where their education is heading” and feel that the next few years may be a “waste of time” for them.

This is disappointing, particularly at a time when many industries are growing rapidly and new and exciting career opportunities are on offer for young people locally, nationally and internationally.

There is often talk about the skills gaps and the fact that young people are not prepared for the world of work – but is it any surprise when teens themselves feel that their education is focused primarily on league tables and academic grades? Read more

ViewPoint: How a Holistic Package of Support Can Improve Students’ Outcomes
February 20, 2019
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The following by TARA BLISS APPLETON Head of welfare and support, Saint Edmunds Society, Norwich was published by FEWEEK.

 

Building welfare support into post-16 provision is crucial to improving retention and achievements, says Tara Bliss-Appleton.

The Saint Edmunds Society has offered vocational training since 2012 to young people who have struggled in mainstream education, to help them to develop meaningful trade-specific skills that will open doors to further training and employment.

We soon realised, however, that skills training was not enough. Disengagement from mainstream education is often driven by personal circumstances such as permanent exclusion, bullying, family breakdown and sometimes substance misuse. Our students presented with a range of barriers to learning, including anxiety, low income, and limited literacy and numeracy skills.

Read more

ViewPoint: Apprenticeships Are The Answer To Falling Uni Numbers
February 18, 2019
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Develop Training Limited (DTL), a leading provider to the utilities and construction sector, says apprenticeships can meet many of the challenges thrown up by falling university numbers.

Many commentators have blamed high tuition fees for a growing number of young people choosing not to apply for university, raising fears of a lack of social mobility. But DTL points out that school leavers give other reasons too, including that they don’t enjoy studying or don’t think they have the necessary academic skills for university.

The training company says that apprenticeships have the capability, not just to provide an alternative to university but also to address the wider issues

Operations Director, John Kerr, says: “Instead of racking up student debt, apprentices earn while they learn, and apprenticeships provide other ways of learning for those who aren’t suited to academia. At DTL, we specialise in practical training for high earning roles in utilities and construction. Yes, there is an element of classroom learning but for most of our apprenticeships, the focus is on learning through well-supervised, genuine on-the-job experience.”

Mr Kerr says that apprenticeships can also generate social mobility, even beyond what might be expected from gaining a practical qualification and a well-paid job. He explains: “As an organisation that believes in providing a holistic educational experience, we support many young people who have fallen behind with academic learning.” Crucially, he points out, that includes ensuring that apprentices attain satisfactory levels of literacy and numeracy.

Read more