From education to employment

Continuing the development of the Taking Teaching Further world class skills system

Alison Morris, Director of Sector Development at the Education and Training Foundation

Alison Morris, Director of Sector Development at the Education and Training Foundation, outlines how Taking Teaching Further, a Department for Education-funded initiative, has started to boost the FE and Training Sector long-term through stimulating and developing industry collaboration and recruitment:

There have been wide ranging media reports, blog posts, and debates about teacher shortages in the Further Education and Training sector across the last few years and particularly recent months, especially as we prepare for the roll-out of the first T Level qualifications. The important Taking Teaching Further pilot, that the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) are leading, has come at such a significant time for the sector. 

There is a need to not just increase the number of teachers in the sector’s workforce, but to increase the combination of industry expertise and excellent teaching skills. This is paramount for delivering first-rate technical teaching. The challenge to recruit new talented professionals to teaching from industry and keeping current staff informed and upskilled on new technologies and industrial developments is not an easy one. However, Taking Teaching Further is showing the way in how this can be done.

Taking Teaching Further, developed by ETF and the Association of Colleges (AoC), will provide up to £5 million of funding to support the Further Education (FE) and post-16 training providers to recruit experienced industry professionals and support an ongoing exchange between industry and FE. The programme will focus on supporting priority sectors, including the first T Level subjects to be taught in Education and Childcare, Digital, and Construction as well as Engineering and Manufacturing and other STEM subjects.

The programme is delivered by the ETF, building on other sector recruitment programmes, such as SET for Teaching Success, and Further Forces. Initially running for two-years, Taking Teaching Further is made up of two separate strands, Strand 1 for Financial Support for Initial Teacher Education and Strand 2 for Industry and College/Provider Innovation Projects.

The funding is being awarded to successful applicants in two separate rounds. This week Round 2 of the programme was launched offering funding for both strands to all types of FE providers via the application and selection process. Find out how to apply to Taking Teaching Further Phase 2 here.

In October 37 successful colleges and providers were selected, in Round 1, to receive funding from Strand 1 of the initiative. These colleges and providers are tasked with recruiting the first 70 Taking Teaching Further teachers from specific sectors and encourage them to retrain to work in those institutions.

As well as the support to train new teachers, 20 innovative projects are also being funded to explore how industry and the FE sector can effectively collaborate to ensure learners are equipped with the knowledge, skills and behaviours that employers need.

The government’s Post-16 Skills Plan and latest T Level action plan directs the need for employers and industry professionals to be at the heart of reforms in the FE sector and skills system. The skills, knowledge and behaviours required for individuals to be ready for skilled employment must be defined by the very employers they are studying and training to work for. Who better to develop learners understanding of how latest skills, techniques, approaches and equipment set standards of their respective sectors than industry professionals.

This explains why Taking Teaching Further is so important.

The five long-term aims of the programme are to:

  • raise the profile and prestige of FE teaching, particularly among industry professionals
  • increase the overall number of skilled FE teachers in the technical routes that will be taught first (Childcare and Education, Digital, Construction), Engineering and Manufacturing and other STEM technical routes, by helping experienced industry professionals to enter the FE teaching profession
  • increase the opportunity for industry-related CPD for current teachers;
  • demonstrate the value of, and possibilities for, industry / FE collaboration; and
  • stimulate and support local initiatives to build capacity in FE teaching and improve industry collaboration.

Deadline for applications is 12 noon on 15 February 2019.

Alison Morris, Director of Sector Development at the Education and Training Foundation

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