The bubble seems to have well and truly burst for the Government as up to 90,000 workers for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are staging a second two day strike.

The two day strike by members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) will see staff from Jobcentres, benefit offices, pension centres and the Child Support Agency (CSA) across England, Scotland and Wales strike in protest at the falling service levels and job cuts already enacted and threatened.

Striking Action

This is not the first time that strike action has hit the public sector in the past few days. Indeed, it has only been a single long weekend since PCS members at the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) also walked out for a day's strike action. This action saw more than 2,000 LSC employees go on strike in protest at the proposed job cuts at the LSC, with some 1,100 positions slashed in a bid to remove the implication of "over bureaucratic management" from the Council.

The PCS feared for the quality of the delivery of Adult Education courses and vocational training in the case of the LSC, and objected to the nature of the re "“ appraisal process with staff forced to re "“ apply for their own positions and take IQ and psychometric evaluations. That strike will pale in comparison to the two day strike by DWP employees, which is expected to reach an almost six "“ figure turnout.

Just the Beginning?

The striking workers are undoubtedly concerned, and may have good reason for their fears. Talks have broken down with senior management over the job cuts and the PCS argue that management have also failed to accept the effect that the job cuts have had on service provision. The PCS point to the findings of three separate House of Commons select committee reports, highlighting the failures in service provision, some 21 million calls going unanswered and the paucity of trained staff for the work at hand.

The DWP are aiming towards a target of slashing 30,000 jobs by 2008, and the General Secretary of the PCS, Mark Serwotka, sees this as a damaging future for the nation as a whole and for the work of the DWP. He said: "The failure by the DWP to fully appreciate the damaging impact of job cuts in talks with the union means that our members are left having to strike to defend the services they care about.

"With a number of House of Commons select committees identifying problems in the department," he continued, "senior management can no longer continue to plough on regardless in cutting jobs. Rather continually being in denial saying everything is fine, the department need to halt the job cuts programme and jointly assess with PCS the adequate staffing levels needed."

It would seem that the conflict will continue, and the prospects for a mutually satisfactory solution seem remote. Government is committed to driving down levels of staffing in the Public Sector; and undoubtedly believe that a streamlined but efficient public sector will prove popular with the voters. Worryingly, however, it would seem that the efficiency of the DWP has been affected, and before any further cutbacks take place the Government must surely rectify any deficits in the service provided.

Jethro Marsh

Stay at FE News for From The Trenches!


Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Latest Education News

Further Education News

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.

FE Voices

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.


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.


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.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page