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House of Commons Short of Public Sector Apprenticeships Target

Former skills minister Robert Halfon called on the House to ‘set an example to our nation’ by hiring more apprenticesImage result for house of commons

The House of Commons has not yet hit the public-sector apprenticeship target, it has been revealed.

Public-sector bodies have a legal duty, established in the 2016 Enterprise Act, to “have regard” to the target of having at least 2.3 per cent of their workforce comprised of apprentices. Official guidance specifies that “public sector bodies with 250 or more staff in England have a target to employ an average of at least 2.3 per cent of their staff as new apprentice starts over the period of 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2021”.

According to the Department for Education, the target has been calculated to ensure that the public sector delivers its “fair share” of the 3 million apprenticeship starts the government has committed to by 2020.

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Clients off to University? Then They May be Eligible for Additional Support
September 26, 2018

Students all over the country are preparing to go off to university and it could be time to see if they are eligible for additional support in higher education.

Use the AbilityNet HE support checker

Getting a degree is a huge challenge for every student but some students face additional challenges and barriers. You could be eligible for extra help from your university and the UK Government’s Disabled Students’ Allowances.

Use the free HE Support Checker to find out if you could be eligible for extra support at university due to a health condition or impairment. This is entirely anonymous, and you do not have to supply any personal information.

What support could you get?

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Employment of Leavers: Experimental UK Performance Indicators 2016 to 2017
July 30, 2018

Experimental statistical release of employment rates for first degree and other undergraduate leavers from HE publicly funded and alternative providers for 2015/16 and 2016/17. Published 24th July 2018

HESA release of experimental UK performance indicators (PIs) on ‘employment of leavers’ showing the proportion of undergraduate leavers in work or further study 6 months after they graduated. The indicators include UK publicly funded higher education institutions (HEIs) and designated alternative providers (APs) in England. Academic year 2015 to 2016 and 2016 to 2017 is published. Read more

Pret A Manger’s New Apprenticeship Programme
July 4, 2018

Pret A Manger has announced the launch of a brand new apprenticeship programme which offers candidates the opportunity to complete an undergraduate Business Management degree at Manchester Metropolitan University, writes Sebastian Klovig Skelton, a freelance journalist.

The degree will be fully funded by Pret, and provides an alternative to the traditional educational routes offered to students during their time at college or sixth form.

Apprentices will also spend time learning practical and business management skills at the Pret Academy as well as through in-store experience.

Before candidates are given the opportunity to complete the BA, they must first complete stages one and two of the apprenticeship programme, which after four years could lead to them running their own shop and team.

Stage one, or the ‘team member’ stage, sees candidates working in-store, meeting suppliers, and attending industry events, which after a year gives apprentices a Hospitality Team Member Level 2 Apprenticeship Standard.

Stage two, referred to by Pret as the ‘leader’ stage, orients apprentices towards more managerial positions by giving them the chance to work as leaders in shops. Graduates at this stage will gain a Hospitality Supervisor Level 3 Apprenticeship Standard. Read more

ViewPoint: Competing for Softer Skills
May 15, 2018

The following was written David Falzani MBE CEng and Paul Kirkham  Nottingham University Business School.

In preparing young people for the workplace the education system is well proven in its ability to convey technical skills and capabilities. However, perhaps there are still opportunities to increase the appreciation and development of soft skills.

Back in the 1980s, improved team working started to become a leading business topic, whereby companies and organisations would succeed by employees working better together – teams and increased cross functional collaboration were the new way to solve an ever increasing complex set of challenges, particularly as the information revolution changed the way we all worked.Sli

Leading practitioners such as Meredith Belbin showed that the performance of a team is directly linked to having a diverse set of personalities and profiles and as well as effective communication and collaboration skills. These are sometimes referred to as soft skills. More recent publications such as Emotional Intelligence (EQ): Why it Can Matter More Than IQ have further extended the understanding of soft skills and also highlighted how it is increasingly recognised as having a crucial role in the workplace.

Evidence shows that employers recruiting from HE and FE greatly value team and communication skills, particularly amongst those with a technical or scientific training – where those skills sometimes don’t have an opportunity to develop during the busy curriculum. They report that those individuals tend to be more productive, more able to quickly integrate into operations, and a better company ‘fit’.

A good way for students, as well as job seekers, to broaden their soft skills is through business competitions. These are increasingly being run by HE and FE providers. Overall, there’s a rising tide of activities around enterprise – partly due to the increased interest in start-up companies, TV shows such as Dragon’s Den/The Apprentice, and the new phenomena of Kickstarter and Indie GoGo. Read more

Schools Must Publish How Providers Can Speak To Pupils
March 28, 2018

Schools must now set out on their websites how providers can request access to speak to pupils about FE courses and apprenticeships.

Skills minister Anne Milton made the announcement today as part of the government’s careers strategy, which came into force in January.

The so-called Baker Clause means that schools must not close their doors to FE colleges and providers wanting to speak to pupils about the opportunities they can offer.

Ms Milton said: “I recognise that schools have needed time to adjust to this new legislation but, now that it is in place, all schools should have published their arrangements for providers to visit all pupils in years 8 to 13.

“I know that schools already provide a range of inspiring and informative careers events, assemblies and options evenings. In many cases, schools can comply with the legislation by integrating a range of opportunities for provider visits into those existing plans and making this information publicly available.”

To comply, schools must publish a policy statement on their website setting out how providers can request access.

“I want every young person, whatever their background, to have a good understanding of both the academic and technical routes that can lead to future success in a rewarding career or job,” Ms Milton added. Read more

Canada’s Push to Bridge the School-Work Gap
March 16, 2018

Work-integrated learning grows in popularity at universities across Canada –  an article by  University Affairs CanadaThe child of accountants, Vanessa Paulin-Savoie decided in high school that she didn’t want to follow in her parents’ footsteps. She loved reading and writing and did well in French, so she thought a translation degree at the Université de Moncton made sense.

Her parents weren’t so sure. They persuaded their daughter to apply to the university’s co-operative education program so that she could see what working in translation was really like. After her second year in the program, it took only one work placement for Ms. Paulin-Savoie to realize that translation “wasn’t for me.”

What she did love, though, was the marketing aspect of the work – writing communications materials in French and English for an Acadian heritage site near her home in Caraquet, New Brunswick. With her creative flair and an affinity for data, she found that marketing “uses all the things that I’m good at.” Now in her final year of a marketing degree, Ms. Paulin-Savoie is still in the co-op program.

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New University Pilot Scheme
March 13, 2018

The Universities Minister Sam Gyimah has announced that 50 universities including the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London and the London School of Economics will be part of a pilot scheme to publish teacher ratings for individual subjects.

The Government’s intention is that the ability to compare different courses will encourage competition between universities.

This will mean better value for money for applicants, said the Minister.  

The new initiative comes as the government embarks on a review of higher education funding in England prompted partly by the lack of price competition between institutions. Nearly all universities charge the highest possible annual tuition fees of £9,250.

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Graduated With a 2.2 or Below? Here’s What To Do
August 22, 2017

The follow article may be of help if you are involved in supporting graduates make career / life choices.

From networking to maximising your day job, experts give their advice on finding a job when your degree didn’t meet your expectations

Ripping open up the envelope to see you’ve received a 2.2 or below may not be how you envisaged starting life as a graduate, but don’t be disheartened: a lower degree classification doesn’t mean you’ve hindered your chances of securing your dream career, whatever that might be.

But for those unsure of what next step to take, it’s worth dedicating time to exploring what kind of career you’d like. Think about what interests you and what your passions are. “If you need help, find out if your university careers service can still support you,” says Laura Hooke, a careers consultant working at Loughborough University London. “They may be able to talk to you by phone, Skype or email if you are no longer in the area. See if you can access any useful resources on their website to help you consider the type of work that you want to do.” Visiting the career planner on the Prospects website might also prove fruitful, she says.

Maggie Stilwell, managing partner for talent at Ernst & Young, echoes Hooke’s point about thinking seriously about what kind of the graduate role you’d like. “It’s so important that you think about what you are interested in and what you think you want to do,” she says. “It can be too easy to get a role without valuing yourself and what is going to make you happy and satisfied longer term. When you know that, you can then work out how you get your foot on the ladder – it may not necessarily be something overtly badged as a graduate job or a graduate scheme.”

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A Young Worker’s View: How it feels to graduate in 2017
August 18, 2017

Ar article by Caolinn Douglas is a recent University of Edinburgh graduate and now work experience researcher at Corporate Research Forum (CRF)

In a tough jobs market, graduates can end up feeling that getting work experience and starting their careers is a catch-22 scenario

It’s a Wednesday in early July and the weather is overcast. A large group of people assemble in a city square. Some are excited, others indifferent, and an unlucky few are suffering from a sickening anxiety. The square buzzes with the hum of chatter and the clicking of camera lenses. A bell rings and everyone walks inside. “Take your seats.” Applause, cheers, shaking hands. Then hugs, kisses and happy tears. Thousands of pictures and social media uploads.

3pm a graduand. 4pm a graduate.

I actually want to call it ‘gradu-WAIT’! Wait, wait, wait. Slow it right down and give me a second to think; 17 years of education over in the blink of an eye. I’m handed a certificate, tapped on the head, and off I go.

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