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#SkillsWorldLive Radio Show on the road at Oldham College

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Eighteen months after the first lockdown show was aired, including three seasons of the show, we are regularly scoring more than 10,000 listens and views of the FE News media player; including many more downloads via the major podcasting sites.

Such success easily places Skills World Live in the top 5 per cent of podcasts recorded and listened to in this country, and globally.

We could not have achieved these results without a whole team effort, including the skills of our brilliant digital producer, Ellie Hanson; and a great sponsor, in OneFile.

We’ve never stopped innovating

Season 1 was basic audio. Season 2 added a commercial radio license so we could play music alongside the diverse chat. And in Season 3, we shifted to video transmission, in the style of a rolling news channel with interactive and topical debates. And we did all this before disrupter mainstream channels like GB News had even been launched.

We are committed to this because I don’t think the awarding sector or FE more broadly should just exist in an echo chamber. One of the reasons I believe FE is often overlooked or misunderstood is because, as a sector, we are awfully good at talking to ourselves. We tend to confirm a common narrative, (or unconscious bias) about the sector, whether or not, that is shared by the millions of people who are not closely involved in our work.

That’s why to end Season 3 of the radio show, I was delighted when Alun Francis, the principal and chief executive of Oldham College invited us to record the last episode of the series at the campus business centre which has recently been constructed. It was a real pleasure to have such close involvement with the college staff teams and wider student community.

The end result is a version of the show on tour, in front of a live audience. My panel included:

  • Cllr Shaid Mushtaq, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills in Oldham
  • Susanna Lawson, Co-founder, and CEO of OneFile
  • Alun Francis, Oldham College’s Principal

With questions from:

  • Natalia Chudy, Level 3 Law student
  • Alexander Newton Hall, Level 3 Law student
  • Matthew Taylor, Level 3 Uniformed Public Services (UPS) student
  • Taylor Richardson, T Level Digital Production, Design and Development

What was great about this recording was getting a real appreciation, in just one local community, for the transformative power of further education. For the fact that FAB’s members, working with college tutors, are delivering literally hundreds of great qualification courses that are giving real life chances to young people. It includes, of course, the new T-Levels that will feature more prominently in FE from September 2023.

Crucially, we talked about the difficult issues in FE as well, like the fact equality and diversity debates need to move beyond the abstract and find more practical solutions.

I want to thank FE News and everyone for your support on this digital journey. And, above all, to say to those who are considering transforming your own digital delivery: don’t let your desire for innovation and change be drowned out by those miserable sceptics, who, let’s be honest, don’t like to see too much innovation and change, particularly when it roundly exposes their own mediocrity.

Season 4, with more innovations, will return very soon!


The #SkillsWorldLive Radio Show is aired live every Friday at 10:30am on the Skills World Live Productions website.

Catch up with earlier episodes on your favourite podcast platform here:

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Exclusive to FE News, Skills and apprenticeships, Livestream and video, Podcast, Student view, Featured voices

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