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    The latest Exclusive Featured articles written by our FE expert writers

    Kevin Rowan, Unionlearn Director

    Where apprentices go, unions are

    Jun 26, 2017 / Featured Article

    With the unionlearn Annual Conference this July focusing on Apprenticeships as its theme, unionlearn Director Kevin Rowan discusses the ways that unions are supporting high quality schemes in the workplace...

    Alan Rae, © Here copyright consultancy

    YouTube – friend or foe?

    Jun 23, 2017 / Featured Article

    At a recent CPD session with lecturers at a Scottish FE college, I asked a group of 16 staff, representing the curricular width of a large college, what they used...

    Tony Allen, CEO, AAS Ltd

    “You STILL require 3 million apprentices…

    Jun 23, 2017 / Featured Article

    So, the latest apprenticeship vacancy advertisement stats have been published. These show a drop from an average of 15,000 or so a month to just 70 in May….yes 70! Now I...

    Andy Durman, Managing Director Emsi UK

    Getting to Grips with the Challenge of T…

    Jun 22, 2017 / Featured Article

    Since the beginning of the year, we’ve been doing a lot of work around T-Levels, much of which has focused on demonstrating how the routes can be mapped to local...

    Dr Brian Marien, founder and director of Positive Group

    Teacher retention - isn’t it time we too…

    Jun 21, 2017 / Featured Article

    Dr. Brian Marien, Founder and Director of Positive Group, specialists in evidence- based programmes to improve psychological wellbeing and build resilience enabling individuals and teams to fulfill their potential, discusses...

    Chris Kirk, Managing Director, Digitalme and Jonathan Finkelstein, CEO and Founder, Credly

    Connecting the Dots: How digital credent…

    Jun 20, 2017 / Featured Article

    In a few months, school leavers will be getting their GCSE and A Level results, turning thoughts towards their future careers. Will they continue studying? Or start an apprenticeship? Perhaps...

    Paul Irving, Managing Director, Skillswork

    Strong and stable apprenticeships that a…

    Jun 19, 2017 / Featured Article

    Firstly, let me apologise for the title of this article because if you are anything like me, I’m sure you will have by now reached the stage of uncontrollably articulating...

    Deborah McVey, Managing Director, Deborah McVey Ltd

    Improving teaching and learning: Are we…

    Jun 15, 2017 / Featured Article

    How do we improve teaching and learning? It's a big question isn't it? Some times though, it’s a question that perhaps we shouldn’t ask. This might sound a little odd...

    Selina Stewart, Education and Training Foundation's lead on Prevent

    Prevent duty – as important as ever

    Jun 14, 2017 / Featured Article

    Sadly the Prevent duty’s relevance has become even more obvious since the horrific events recently in Manchester and London. Over the last year we have seen terrorism driven by right wing...

    Andy Durman, Managing Director Emsi UK

    How Careers Information can Direct Peopl…

    Jun 13, 2017 / Featured Article

    I wrote recently about the danger of careers information getting lost in the seemingly never ending changes being imposed upon colleges. In the conclusion to that piece, I said that...

    Joe Chetcuti, Director of Front

    Marketing and Student Recruitment - what…

    Jun 12, 2017 / Featured Article

    Joe Chetcuti – Director of Front – discusses what the FE sector can learn from the commercial world when it comes to marketing and attracting students. The competition to attract students...

    Rob May is CEO at ABE and a Board Member at the Federation of Awarding Bodies.

    FRONTIER MARKETS ARE CHALLENGING, BUT CA…

    Jun 08, 2017 / Featured Article

    With the vocational education market looking volatile, many colleges and assessment organisations in search of double-digit growth are starting to look further afield to reap rewards. The possibilities offered by international...

    Petra Wilton, Director of Strategy, Chartered Management Institute

    A New Dawn for Further Education?

    Jun 07, 2017 / Featured Article

    By revolutionising their funding model, the Apprenticeship Levy could reinvigorate the further education sector Further education colleges have, historically, been prime providers of apprenticeship training, and it is too early to...

    Dr Steve Davies, Director of Courses, Diploma MSC

    What lessons can the FE sector learn fro…

    Jun 06, 2017 / Featured Article

    Delivering high quality, career-relevant courses and skills in partnership An age-old complaint of many employers is that students leave FE and HE without qualifications and skills relevant for the workplace. Providing...

    Dan Wright MIEP, CEO The Chartered Institution for Further Education

    Why we must reinforce the professionalis…

    Jun 05, 2017 / Featured Article

    In 2004 I left the hospitality industry in which I had worked for many years to enter the world of work based learning, a field that was unfamiliar to me...

    Ian Pretty, CEO, Collab Group

    Priorities for FE and skills in the next…

    Jun 02, 2017 / Featured Article

    Regardless of which party wins the general election, there will be many challenges to face in the next Parliament: Brexit negotiations, lagging productivity levels, skills gaps in key industries—these challenges...

    Liberal Democrats launch their vision f…

    Jun 01, 2017 / Featured Article

    Gone are the days when the ‘three r’s’ of Reading ,’Riting and ‘Rithmetic got you the job you needed to buy a house, start a family, and experience lifelong job...

    Norman Crowther, Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL)

    The Vocational Election?

    Jun 01, 2017 / Featured Article

    As we enter the last week of the general election it is interesting to see - and really positive - that both parties are taking seriously post 16 education and...

    Hilary Read, Read On Publications Ltd

    Practical help for end-point assessors a…

    May 31, 2017 / Featured Article

    This is an update to my last article on the changing role of assessors within new apprenticeships. The pointers below are based on the CPD courses I run for teachers...

    Alan Woods OBE is the CEO of VTCT

    Protecting quality apprenticeship provis…

    May 31, 2017 / Featured Article

    Last month’s announcement that the Education and Skills Funding Agency is cutting apprenticeship provision funding allocations for non-levy paying employers was unsurprisingly met with widespread dismay within the industry. Many...

    HELP TO ENGINEER THE FUTURE

    May 30, 2017 / Featured Article

    With the UK struggling to fill the nationwide skills shortage across a variety of industries, apprenticeships are a vital avenue for businesses to consider. In line with this skills deficit...

    Chris Thomson, Education Consultant

    Why do some college leaders fail in thei…

    May 29, 2017 / Featured Article

    There are a million and one reasons why some college leaders fail in their ambition to improve their colleges. The key to success lies in overcoming self-doubt, argues Chris Thomson... Over the...

    Deborah McVey, Managing Director, Deborah McVey Ltd

    Are we kryptonite to our super hero teac…

    May 26, 2017 / Featured Article

    Teaching is a mystery. I don’t mean the many questions about what makes great learning though. The real mystery, the beautiful truth that can never really be measured is the...

    Andy Richardson, CEO, Dynistics

    Can data analytics give FE establishment…

    May 25, 2017 / Featured Article

    Can data analytics give FE establishments the edge during stormy times? Despite being part of the government’s reforms to increase the number of apprenticeships to three million by 2020, the latest...

    Julie James AM – Welsh Labour Minister for Skills and Science

    Skills for a Growing Economy

    May 25, 2017 / Featured Article

    Skills for a Growing Economy Julie James AM – Welsh Labour Minister for Skills and Science Knocking on doors around my constituency of Swansea West during this general election its clear what...

    Lee Dover, Consultant, 2020 Vision

    The Terrorism threat: what education ins…

    May 24, 2017 / Featured Article

    Editor's Note: After the tragic events in Manchester this week, this article is a timely reminder of how important it is to keep our learners safe. Our thoughts and prayers...

    What does the election mean for learning…

    May 22, 2017 / Featured Article

    We’re less than three weeks away from a General Election that will shape our country for years to come. How do the main party’s election pledges stack up? The polls suggest...

    FE Provider Destroyed by Lack of Audit

    May 22, 2017 / Featured Article

    FE is audited to death We get regular Ofsted audits and breathe a sigh of relief when we know our curriculum and teaching is good or outstanding. We undergo rigorous finance...

    Julie Kapsalis, Vice-Principal, Chichester College

    National economic development appointmen…

    May 18, 2017 / Featured Article

    The Institute of Economic Development (IED), the UK’s independent professional body representing economic development and regeneration practitioners, has added one of the country’s leading enterprise and social inclusion champions to its...

    Jane Hyde-Walsh, Founder and Director of the Staffroom

    Delivering the new Trailblazer Standards

    May 16, 2017 / Featured Article

    From May 1st the new Trailblazer standards can be delivered to any new apprentices funded through the government’s apprenticeship reforms. The change marks a radical transformation in the further education sector...

    Stick or Twist - FE takes a gamble

    May 15, 2017 / Featured Article

    News this week that the area review transition fund has still yet to unfold and reveal its hand has left us guessing. Many providers keen to take advantage of the...

    Stefan Drew

    Are Bots Better Than Trainers?

    May 12, 2017 / Featured Article

    This is a  topic that’s bound to cause controversy, but one that’s surely worth considering if the responses I had from my last article are valid. And, if bots are better...

    Deborah McVey, Managing Director, Deborah McVey Ltd

    What could brave and honest educators do…

    May 11, 2017 / Featured Article

    If you’ve been working in education for a while, you’ve almost certainly come across some mental health challenges. No, I don’t mean your own! Although the pressure educators face is...

    Marc Doyle, Principal, Humber UTC

    Educating students to be work ready

    May 10, 2017 / Featured Article

    As Principal of a UTC (University Technical College), I was eager to read the All Parliamentary Group for Education’s report on how well schools are preparing young people for the...

    Mike Thompson, Director, Early Careers, Barclays, Institute for Apprenticeships panel chair for legal, finance and accounting.

    The Apprenticeship Levy is an investment…

    May 09, 2017 / Featured Article

    Last month the government introduced the Apprenticeship Levy, which all employers operating in the UK will have to pay, charged at a rate of 0.5 per cent of companies’ annual...

     Roger Dawe CB OBE, Chairman of the Career Colleges Trust

    Colleges, Employers and Careers – the im…

    May 09, 2017 / Featured Article

    I have just started a new life as Chair of the Career Colleges Trust.   I was happy to take on this role because, throughout my involvement in further education over the...

    Richard Marsh, Apprenticeship Director, Kaplan Financial

    Market disruption – an opportunity to sp…

    May 08, 2017 / Featured Article

    Apprenticeships for all Last week Tanni Grey-Thompson addressed the Work in Progress conference for ‘welfare to work’ providers. In her powerful address she challenged us as providers to do more to help...

    Alice Barnard, Chief Executive of Edge

    EBacc belongs in the past, not post-Brex…

    May 08, 2017 / Featured Article

    As any charity Chief Exec will tell you, a large part of the job is looking ahead and planning. Budgets, investments, campaigns, events, staffing – there is a calendar, a...

    LEADING THINKING

    May 05, 2017 / Featured Article

    Effective leaders, either individually or collectively, can see beyond the particular, discerning patterns in the chaos around us. Great leaders can transcend the moment they’re in and see new ways...

    Tony Allen, CEO, AAS Ltd

    It’s the process, stupid!

    May 04, 2017 / Featured Article

    I don’t know about you, but I really don’t know what is going on at the moment. Almost every conversation I have these days is met with a wringing of...

    A culture for supporting apprentices

    May 04, 2017 / Featured Article

    Alone in a room with a computer, Harriet (not her real name), is sat in front of a computer panicking. She has no idea what to do or what’s expected...

    Stefan Drew

    50% of Providers Ignore Course Enquiries

    May 03, 2017 / Featured Article

    Each year FE spends huge sums on marketing.  A lot of that money is wasted! How do I know? Looks at these facts. Over Easter we conducted a survey of colleges. We...

    David Kitchen, Managing Director, The Leadership Team

    Consolidation of Training Providers

    May 02, 2017 / Featured Article

    The impact of the (unnecessary) RoATP process and the resultant pausing of the ITT tender raised a “common sense prevails” cheer from the ‘establishment’ of colleges and large contract holders...

    Teaching practical functional English an…

    May 02, 2017 / Featured Article

    Everyone agrees that young people entering the world of work must be literate and numerate. But the arguments continue about the best approach to deliver English and maths to our...

    Paul Irving is Managing Director of Skillswork

    Don’t allow this to be known as the miss…

    Apr 28, 2017 / Featured Article

    Like many of you who will have read Mark Dawe’s comments on the non-levy apprenticeship allocations. I have worked in the skills sector for over 20 years and I don’t...

    Mount Everest

    Epping Forest College are Ascending New …

    Apr 28, 2017 / Featured Article

    Music plays from a piano in the reception of Epping Forest College as learners enter the building to begin their day. The principal welcomes them as she does each morning...

    Nick Isles, CEO, Corporate Agenda Advice Consultancy

    The Levy is here but will it deliver?

    Apr 25, 2017 / Featured Article

    The moment we have been waiting for has arrived and the levy is now a fact not merely a policy idea. As a hypothecated tax (sort of) the levy must...

    Liz Sewell FIEP, Director, Belina Consulting

    How can women make work “work” for them?

    Apr 21, 2017 / Featured Article

    The job, as a concept is vanishing. Long gone are the days of a ‘job for life’. The economic forecast indicates that wages are unlikely to increase over the next...

    Louise Doyle, Director, MESMA and Senior Associate at Strategic Development Network

    TEACHING APPRENTICESHIPS? A QUESTION OF …

    Apr 19, 2017 / Featured Article

    LOUISE DOYLE, a further education consultant and director of quality assurance experts MESMA, argues that apprenticeships should be considered as a relevant and plausible path to a career in teaching despite...

    Graham Hasting-Evans, Group Managing Director, NOCN

    Three skills-based solutions to boost UK…

    Apr 18, 2017 / Featured Article

    How to address the UK's 'Productivity Challenge' amongst G7 nations. It is well documented that the UK suffers from a serious and long-standing productivity gap. The Office of National Statistics (ONS)...

    Jenny Catlin, Head of Projects, Capita Apprenticeships

    The 20%: Off-the-job learning is vexing …

    Apr 12, 2017 / Featured Article

    After what has felt like the longest lead-in time ever, the apprenticeship levy has finally landed, with businesses able to access their Digital Apprenticeship Account and start spending their levy...

    Deborah McVey, Managing Director, Deborah McVey Ltd

    Lesson observation records: A plea to bo…

    Apr 11, 2017 / Featured Article

    When it comes to observation records, I have issues with checklists, matrices, tables, scorecards, boxes to tick and all things criteria. I know this will be controversial and I suspect...

    Mark Dawe, Chief Executive, Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP)

    MPs’ sobering review of the apprenticesh…

    Apr 10, 2017 / Featured Article

    As the levy collection begins, a cross-party committee of MPs have just done a great job in reviewing the government’s apprenticeship reforms and ministers would be wise to implement the...

    Richard Marsh, Apprenticeship partnership director, Kaplan

    Aggregated L&D budgets and a new App…

    Apr 10, 2017 / Featured Article

    One thing that we are finding a lot when we speak to larger employers is that most do not have one single companywide L & D budget. That might have...

    Grimsby Institute

    Democratising self improvement - How one…

    Apr 07, 2017 / Featured Article

    Further education is still out of reach for too many in the UK. While we know how many applicants for higher or further education are rejected, there’s a great swathe...

    Why Edge are backing apprenticeships: Me…

    Apr 06, 2017 / Featured Article

    Edge is a huge advocate of apprenticeships. We believe they can offer exciting learning and career opportunities for young people. When we came to recruit for a new Digital Marketing...

    Graham Hasting-Evans, Managing Director, NOCN

    10 TOP TIPS EMPLOYERS SHOULD DO TO ‘MAKE…

    Apr 04, 2017 / Featured Article

    NOCN has put together ‘10 top tips’ that all levy paying employers should do to ‘make apprenticeships matter’.   For employers to be able to justify the investment in time, resource and...

    Edd Brown, Operations Director for Quality Improvement, FE Associates

    Staff Development: The easiest budget to…

    Apr 03, 2017 / Featured Article

    In a climate where funding is tighter, external pressures are driving more efficiencies, cost savings are to be expected. In this environment, there are usually areas of budget that are...

    Judith Doyle, Principal and CEO of Gateshead College

    FE colleges must contribute to regional …

    Mar 31, 2017 / Featured Article

    Further Education colleges must take a more proactive role in helping shape the skills agenda and economic policy at regional and national levels. FE has a key role to play; for...

    Richard Marsh, Apprenticeship partnership director, Kaplan

    Apprenticeships through the hour glass a…

    Mar 31, 2017 / Featured Article

    Quality over quantity Listening carefully to government spokespersons, during National Apprenticeship Week and since; it seems to me that they are not really pushing for 3m starts anymore. It is...

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