Peter and Anne King of DPI Yearbooks have supported the lives of many young adults working with schools nationally to give pupils valuable employability skills. When they recently took on a young apprentice to expand their own business, they faced several obstacles.

“We have wanted to take on an apprentice for the past 5 years, but until now, have been totally unable to get any coherent information about what we need to do, what compliance is required and how we should manage the processes of recruitment, training, etc.”

Such are the challenges facing SMEs and micro businesses in the current climate that many have become reluctant to do so. Peter explained, “Sadly, our experience is common; most of the micro businesses we have spoken to are either reluctant, or plain antagonistic, in taking on an apprentice, especially a 16 year old. Given that well over 90% of businesses are micro businesses and that, as a sector, we are responsible for approaching 70% of the private-sector workforce, we are worried and saddened with this situation. In rural areas, micro businesses are of significant importance in providing employment.”

Both Peter and Anne have a wealth of experience between them in the 25 years they have been in education. Following the recent press surrounding the Richards Report, it is clear that the next generation of the UK workforce need to be able to demonstrate that they have the transferable skills relevant to adapt to new challenges in the work place. Problem-solving and team work, as well as creative and lateral thinking skills will support those with the right attitude and people skills to excel in their new roles.

None more so than in micro or small businesses where they will be required to adapt to new skills quickly. 70% of jobs, including apprenticeships, are given to those known or recommended to the employer.

When asked about the implications of this on the work they have been doing with schools, Anne when on to say,“ From our extensive experience with other SME, micro businesses and educational business links, it is clear that few learners or teachers have any knowledge of, or relationship with, the micro business sector.”

Many of those leaving for the workplace in the coming years will be facing the repercussions of the austerity measures set out by the government and will be competing in a market place where job security will be uncertain and the ability to adapt and add value to a small organisation will be of paramount importance.

“Although evidence indicates that around 70% of jobs, including apprenticeships, are given to those known or recommended to the employer, this impacts both upon the number of apprenticeships being offered and a general perception that school leavers are inadequately prepared for work “ Peter went on to say. Over 80% of small businesses also agree with this according to a poll conducted in 2012 for Rural Business Research, the largest of its kind in the UK.

The solution, as indicated in the Richards report, will need a greater awareness of how apprentices can add value to an organisation, as well as a greater flexibility in the way this next generation of employees will develop work based skills with their employers. Greater synergy in the way schools work with employers to develop these skills will pave the way to truly ‘independent learning’ in the classroom and provide young adults that are well prepared for employment.

Peter and Anne have now successfully recruited an apprentice who is settling into his new role and whose contribution to the organisation is highly valued.

Tim Evans is the Director of Lean4Learning, the education solutions provider that aims to remove waste and create a continuous improvement

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The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

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FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

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