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The latest Exclusive Featured articles written by our FE expert writers

Norman Crowther, Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL)

The language of FE or what does it all r…

Mar 30, 2017 / Featured Article

One of the many headed problems that the hydra of FE has is to do with the language that it uses and is used about it. There are plenty of...

If Brexit means Brexit, what does it mea…

Mar 29, 2017 / Featured Article

Today marks a significant moment in UK history with Theresa May formally firing the starting gun for the process of the UK leaving the EU by triggering Article 50. If there...

Lisa O’Loughlin, Principal, The Manchester College

Team UK Selection - The Manchester Colle…

Mar 29, 2017 / Featured Article

As The Manchester College prepares to be one of the host colleges for the 2017 WorldSkills UK Selection for WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017, its Principal, Lisa O’Loughlin, talks about hosting...

Mike Thompson, Head of Apprenticeships at Barclays

Barclays for Jargon Free Jobs

Mar 28, 2017 / Featured Article

Earlier this month Business in the Community (BITC) and the City & Guilds Group found that confusing job descriptions are a major barrier for young job seekers, preventing them from...

Steve Hill, External Engagement Director, The Open University

Degree apprenticeships are not just a lo…

Mar 27, 2017 / Featured Article

The development of degree apprenticeships is at a momentous turning point. With the introduction of the apprenticeship levy just days away on 6th April, every organisation in the UK with an...

Dr Paul Phillips is principal and chief executive of Weston College, Weston-super-Mare

Something Is Rotten In The State Of Denm…

Mar 24, 2017 / Featured Article

Are you suffering apprenticeship meltdown? The world of apprenticeships is one that is getting bigger and more mysterious by the minute.  If we look back to its origins, we find the...

Prof Sa’ad Sam Medhat, CEO STEM Foundation, and Institute of Innovation & Knowledge Exchange

Invigorating the Industrial Strategy wit…

Mar 22, 2017 / Featured Article

The UK is a success. That is the initial government line of the Industrial Strategy. And for a handful of specific sectors, such as Pharma, Video Games, Aerospace and Automotive...

Kerry Boffey, Director, Adult Learning Improvement Network

Study Programmes

Mar 21, 2017 / Featured Article

Maximising Study Programmes to developing learners’ employability skills, calculation and communication competencies to equip them with the abilities to succeed in the workplace and in life. Lord Sainsbury’s Independent Review on...

Rakesh Shaunak, Head of Further Education, MHA MacIntyre Hudson.

Brexit: A silver lining for FE?

Mar 20, 2017 / Featured Article

Months have passed since the dramatic vote for Brexit and now further education colleges are starting to assess the long term effects of this decision on the sector. The good...

Doug Heckman, Head of Further Education for Labour Market Insight specialists, Emsi.

Identifying the Potential for Creating N…

Mar 17, 2017 / Featured Article

In our previous piece, we demonstrated the research we have undertaken to identify all occupations in the labour market that have “apprenticeship potential”, and then went on to show how...

 Alice Barnard, CEO, Edge

Nashville's Career Academies - Music Cit…

Mar 16, 2017 / Featured Article

Music City’s Greatest Export? – Nashville’s Career Academies You may be forgiven for thinking that the best thing to come out of the wonderful city of Nashville is the country music...

Richard Marsh, Apprenticeship Partnership Director, Kaplan

The final pieces of the new apprenticesh…

Mar 15, 2017 / Featured Article

The new register of levy-providers and a bottomless funding pot This week has seen the publication of the much anticipated list of ‘the training providers that can support levy paying employers’;...

Karol Thornton and Kay Sidebottom, Tutor Voices

PREVENT as an opportunity to ‘Educate ou…

Mar 15, 2017 / Featured Article

“I now know how important it is in teaching to allow spaces for disagreement, exploration and uncertainty.” Project Participant Earlier in 2016, as Brexit debates sank to new depths of intolerance...

Who looks after the apprentices?

Mar 14, 2017 / Featured Article

Who’s educating the workers about apprentices? What do the staff your apprentices work with think of apprenticeships? Odds are that it doesn’t quite match what you want them to think. One of the...

Merger: Does Bigger Mean Better?

Mar 11, 2017 / Featured Article

''Tis the season for merger! Following Area Reviews a lot of mergers have taken place or are going through the process. We could soon see a sector of just 250 colleges...

Broadening Apprenticeship Provision Beyo…

Mar 09, 2017 / Featured Article

When the Government set a target of creating 3 million apprenticeships by 2020, one thing was immediately clear: they were never going to hit that target without apprenticeships being created...

Suzie Webb, Director of Education and Development, AAT

Apprentice Assessment Organisations – a …

Mar 08, 2017 / Featured Article

Born out of the Trailblazer apprenticeships initiative, Apprentice Assessment Organisations (AAOs) will deliver the required end-point assessments (EPAs) for apprenticeships, to allow apprentices to demonstrate their competence. My own organisation...

Samantha Rutter, Chief Operating Officer, Open Study College

International Women’s Day, Inspirational…

Mar 08, 2017 / Featured Article

What makes an inspirational business woman? With it being International Women’s Day today, we wanted to share with you the thoughts of one of FE’s very own inspirational woman, Open...

Jenny Catlin, Head of Projects and Product Management, Capita Apprenticeships

National Apprenticeship Week: three thin…

Mar 08, 2017 / Featured Article

This National Apprenticeship Week marks only one month until the new Apprenticeship Levy is introduced. With such a short time to go, many businesses are wondering what their next steps...

Skills in Brexit Britain: a lot done, a …

Mar 07, 2017 / Featured Article

In 1947, Hugh Dalton resigned as Chancellor when details of his Budget were leaked before his speech in Parliament. No such concerns in 2017 with Philip Hammond touring the TV...

Mike Thompson, Head of Apprenticeships at Barclays

Able to Enable – Opening up apprenticesh…

Mar 06, 2017 / Featured Article

One of the biggest challenges currently facing the apprenticeship system is how to widen access and use them to provide pathways to skills and employment for all parts of society...

Government’s Industrial Strategy – seemi…

Mar 03, 2017 / Featured Article

The House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee Industrial Strategy First Review has been released today. The Prime Minister's talk of a proper industrial strategy, with more active...

Jack Parsons

My Manifesto for education: Scrap the cu…

Mar 01, 2017 / Featured Article

The Department for Education is the most important Department. Without the ability to read, write and perform at least simple maths, the country would fail and I’m worried that our...

Jim Wade, Principal, JCB Academy

Why we need to bring the work place clos…

Feb 28, 2017 / Featured Article

Today the Baker Dearing Educational Trust, the charity that promotes University Technical Colleges (UTCs) has released a report looking at how education fails many students in the real world when...

Richard Marsh, Apprenticeship Partner Director, Kaplan UK

Success for all

Feb 27, 2017 / Featured Article

What does the decline in Apprenticeship success rates actually mean? Preparing to speak at the Ofqual conference this week and reviewing with the recent release of Apprenticeship success rate data has...

Sandy Lindsay MBE, Chair of the IoD and North West Business Leadership Team Skills Groups

Mind the [Skills] Gap

Feb 24, 2017 / Featured Article

Sandy Lindsay MBE, Chair of the IoD and North West Business Leadership Team Skills Groups, discusses efforts to close the skills gap in the North West of England, and how...

The overlooked gap in the apprenticeship…

Feb 23, 2017 / Featured Article

With the apprenticeship levy just around the corner many training providers are working with their large (and smaller) employers to scale up the size of their apprenticeship programmes. However, there’s...

Deborah Tillett, FIEP

How will the Work and Health Programme I…

Feb 22, 2017 / Featured Article

Since the results of DWP’s Umbrella Agreement have been released, the focus has shifted to the procurement of the Work and Health Programme (WHP), with more details becoming available from...

Nus Ghani MP, Chair of the Apprenticeships Diversity Championships Network

Sector Response to the Apprenticeship Di…

Feb 21, 2017 / Featured Article

The Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network (ADCN) has been launched today to help promote diversity within apprenticeships. The network of 23 employers includes organisations such as Roll Royce, BBC, BAE Systems...

Peter Wylie, Director of Education, Baker Dearing Educational Trust

UTCs are not the problem

Feb 21, 2017 / Featured Article

For 150 years England has got technical education wrong and no political party can claim they have come up with a solution that works. The only Education Minister who had...

Dr Paul Phillips Principal and Chief Executive of Weston College, Weston-super-Mare

We Cannot Be All Things To All People

Feb 20, 2017 / Featured Article

Further education is now a mixed economy in terms of creating a sustainable plan for future skills development and corresponding delivery. Our work encompasses traditional 16-19 and adult learning, the latter...

Mark Dawe, Chief Executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers

Flexible approaches are key to the Brexi…

Feb 17, 2017 / Featured Article

Let’s tip our hat to the government for saying in the Industrial Strategy green paper that there will be flexibility for the new Institutes of Technology to adopt different models...

David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges (AoC)

Fairer funding means a fairer future

Feb 16, 2017 / Featured Article

Fair funding for colleges will help more young people and adults, as well as businesses, get the skills they need. And we know that skills is very much on the...

Janet Clark, ATL Education Policy Adviser

Is skills policy now too ‘employer-led’?

Feb 16, 2017 / Featured Article

A consultation on the Institute of Apprenticeships (IfA) strategic plan closed last week. You can read ATL’s response to the proposals here. Another consultation, this time on the IfA’s draft...

Stefan Drew

Why Teaching is a Dying Profession ... D…

Feb 15, 2017 / Featured Article

The agricultural revolution was followed by the industrial revolution and we have now entered the digital revolution. The digital revolution means the end of teaching as we know it. Am I being...

Tim Bailey, Partner at Xsite Architecture

Preparing the next generation to take on…

Feb 14, 2017 / Featured Article

With rapid advances in technology, a new political landscape and an ever growing urban population – times are indeed changing. If we are to meet the needs and demands of our...

Alex Swann, Director, Lesniak Swann

So, you have been asked to deliver a new…

Feb 13, 2017 / Featured Article

We’ve been rebranding colleges, other institutions and businesses since 2002. Given the fluid nature of the FE sector currently, such as area reviews, we realise more and more colleges will be...

Kevin Wilkinson, Prisons Business Manager City & Guilds

The proof that education really does pay

Feb 09, 2017 / Featured Article

I was lucky enough to spend the day today with John. An ex-offender, John knew he wanted to turn his life around and was given the opportunity to study for...

Mark Farrar, Chief Executive of AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians)

The Apprenticeship Levy: Helping to fulf…

Feb 07, 2017 / Featured Article

As the Government has recently highlighted, apprenticeships work. According to Skills Minister Robert Halfon, over 90% of apprentices currently go into work or further training. It’s therefore no surprise that...

CMI's Petra Wilton

Labelling the Apprenticeship Levy as a “…

Feb 06, 2017 / Featured Article

According to Einstein the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”. So when applied to the world of training – where we...

Dr Paul Phillips is principal and chief executive of Weston College, Weston-super-Mare

Our Emergency

Feb 06, 2017 / Featured Article

On BBC2 recently there was the start of a documentary that followed the life of surgeons and patients in a busy hospital. I caught up with the programme after reading...

Welcome focus on skills in Industrial St…

Feb 03, 2017 / Featured Article

The long awaited Industrial Strategy Green Paper has finally seen the light of day and the TUC very much welcomes the fact that pro-active government intervention is back on the...

A challenge - grasping opportunity in un…

Feb 02, 2017 / Featured Article

If we doubted that we lived in “uncertain times” I doubt we doubt that now!  So far 2017 has been a year to either stay under the duvet or to...

Mike Thompson, Head of Apprenticeships at Barclays

The Apprenticeship Levy should help peop…

Feb 02, 2017 / Featured Article

As the Apprenticeship Levy approaches, more and more people are shining a spotlight on apprenticeships and discussing the role they will play in the lives of individuals and businesses in...

Kirsty McHugh, ERSA Chief Executive, FE News

DWP is running out of time to get JCP’s …

Feb 01, 2017 / Featured Article

Last week saw the government miss a prime opportunity to correct the direction of travel and put the Jobcentre Plus (JCP) juggernaut on the right track for jobseekers.  You may well...

Ruth Gilbert, CEO of the Career Colleges Trust

Building Our Industrial Strategy- FE c…

Feb 01, 2017 / Featured Article

It is a time of real change for the UK, the US and indeed the world. The Government is responding to this change, setting out its vision for post-Brexit Britain in...

Focus on 3 million apprentices by 2020 l…

Jan 31, 2017 / Featured Article

The government has made a commitment to 3 million new apprentices in England between 2015 and 2020. This target, contained first in the Conservative Party 2015 General Election manifesto, and...

Building Our Industrial Strategy - more …

Jan 31, 2017 / Featured Article

As we near the end of January and many of us are lamenting our failed New Year resolutions to drink less/eat more healthily/visit the gym more often/empty our email inbox...

Reflections on responses to the Industri…

Jan 29, 2017 / Featured Article

The ongoing need for developing not just higher level vocational qualifications and training, but also a way of providing that need is advanced by the new industrial strategy proposal. But...

The Institute for Apprenticeships board …

Jan 26, 2017 / Featured Article

The eight new members of the Institute for Apprenticeships board have been announced: Dr Katherine Barclay Sir Gerry Berragan Bev Robinson Paul Cadman Dame Fiona Kendrick Dame Asha Khemka Robin Millar CBE Toby Peyton-Jones   -  The eight...

Steve Hewitt

Curriculum planning: the sun is shining …

Jan 26, 2017 / Featured Article

The eye of a hurricane is famously calm - an eerie normality before inevitable chaos. And so it is, currently, with funding for curriculum planning. But there are still things you...

David Way

Institute for Apprenticeships – A Time t…

Jan 24, 2017 / Featured Article

Responsibilities for integrity, quality and funding give the new Institute for Apprenticeships a potentially vital and lasting role in the national skills infrastructure but only if its role is fully...

Invest in outstanding technical educatio…

Jan 24, 2017 / Featured Article

I am delighted and hugely encouraged to see Government placing a strong focus on technical education and STEM skills in its proposed Industrial Strategy. These are matters close to my heart...

Stefan Drew

What's Wrong With FE Websites?

Jan 23, 2017 / Featured Article

I remember the heady days when we didn't have websites, server problems, SEO issues and all those delights so many FE marketers suffer today. But we now live in more enlightened...

Richard Marsh, Apprenticeship Partnership Director at Kaplan UK

Awards, Hockey sticks and the end of the…

Jan 23, 2017 / Featured Article

This Friday was the 13th National Apprenticeship awards, as ever one of the highlights of the Academic year. I have only been to 7 of the 13 ceremonies but they...

New Industrial Strategy Green Paper to p…

Jan 23, 2017 / Featured Article

The Prime Minister today launched a new Green Paper called Building our Industrial Strategy. The Green Paper has a significant implications for the Further Education and Skills sector: Overhaul of technical education...

Ellie Garraway, Chief Operating Officer, Youth at Risk and Mark Sargeant, Director of Business Development, Partnerships & Marketing, Prevista

‘How do we move from the predictable to …

Jan 19, 2017 / Featured Article

It seems that the environment for young people is becoming increasingly complex. In order to best prepare for a complex world it is essential that we invest in educating or...

Dr Neil Bentley, Chief Executive, WorldSkills UK

Success in Competitions will raise Appre…

Jan 19, 2017 / Featured Article

2017 is shaping up to be a significant year for us all. Aside from the uncertainty around Brexit, this year we will see the apprenticeship levy come into force and...

Jack Parsons, CEO of yourfeed

Is industry failing its future workforce…

Jan 19, 2017 / Featured Article

I’ve got an idea. What if industries began to realise that their future workforce depended on their support of young people? What if they played a more active role in...

John Rogers, Chief Executive of Skills for Health

New framework from Skills for Health sup…

Jan 17, 2017 / Featured Article

Prime Minister Theresa May recently announced plans to “transform attitudes” towards mental health, as part of a new Government strategy to create a “shared society”. John Rogers, Chief Executive of...

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