From education to employment

FE News is 18 years old: Thank you, we wouldn’t be here without you!

FE News is 18 years old: Thank you, we wouldn’t be here without you!

September 2021 marks the 18th anniversary of the launch of FE News and job board FE Careers 

I wanted to write a personal note of thanks to everyone, September 2021 is a big month for us and the FE News family. I thought about writing a traditional press release, but then again, FE News hasn’t been a traditional media company for 18 years, why do this to announce our 18th anniversary?

So I thought I would write a personal note of thanks instead, as this is the purpose of this article, to say thank you!

Thank you to all of our contributors, the FE Community, our audience, our advertisers and sponsors, we really appreciate your continued support. Without you, we would not be here, so thank you!

A lot has changed since launched back in September 2003, particularly with how we communicate and use technology in our day to day lives. After FE News was launched, we had Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, the iphone, the ipad, Zoom… I can’t imagine a world without these services and tools to communicate….   

But our mission at FE News has remained the same:   

  • Showcase best practice, innovation and emerging strategy, by providing a wide lens view with diverse voices and views.  
  • Unite the entire sector by supporting joined up thinking, collaboration and cooperation.   
  • Highlight the positive impact the sector makes to learners, to communities and employers, by showcasing your positive news and announcements.   

We have enjoyed 800% growth in traffic on FE News in the past 4 years and we’ve moved from 20 pieces of content per week to 250 pieces of content per week… which is amazing.  

Reaching Key Influencers

In the past 8 months FE News have had exclusive articles from many key decision makers and policy makers, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Chancellor Rishi SunakGavin Williamson and Mims Davies… they are watching and most importantly listening to your voice on FE News.

What a journey

So, thank you for being a massive part of the journey so far…   

September is going to be a month of celebration for FE News, I can’t believe we have turned 18… but then I look in the mirror, back in 2003, I had a lot darker hair than now (my kids now say I have metallic hair).

Communications have changed, digital is now very, very much the norm (it wasn’t back in 2003, we hadn’t had Facebook or Twitter until a year after FE News launched), but what a journey the FE, Skills and Employability sector has been on for the past 18 years. The highs and the lows, we’ve all experienced.

The last 18 months in particular have seemed to really been a time of refining in the fire created by Covid and the longer term impacts of Brexit, particularly for skills and employability. It has become mainstream news.

I honestly believe that the sector is coming back stronger and more impactful than I can ever remember. The last 18 months is fresh in our mind, but has personally felt that the sector has stepped up with real solutions to make impactful change and at a time when the nation really needed and still needs it. Which is excellent to see and experience.

The real influencers, policy makers and key decision makers know that the nation needs a strong skills policy, we need a joined up approach with employability and skills to create long term sustainable jobs, we also need a strong skills policy and guidance, along with clear sign posts to help people get there. That education, skills and employment are key tools for social justice, as well as raising productivity. This is massive progress, never before have we had a serving Prime Minister and Chancellor write for FE News… in a couple of month period, we have had both.

This is amazing…but there is still so far to go, so many more challenges that need solutions, so much more potential for unity and joined up collaborative thinking and working across the sector. For us to embrace the entire FE, Skills and Employability eco-system and continually provide impactful life changing solutions to individuals, to communities, to entire job sectors.

FE News is growing up

As a part of the whole 18 years and FE News becoming an adult, we are launching a bunch of new services in the Autumn to help you engage in new cool ways with diverse voices and experts across the sector.

We will also shortly be launching a new FE News website as well! So I can’t wait to show this to you, it has been a year in the making. It is nearly, nearly ready.

So once again, thank you! We can’t wait for you to join us on the next chapter of the journey.

Don’t forget, your voice is powerful… we also encourage diverse voices and perspectives – so if you would like to write, upload a video or podcast – we would really encourage this. 

We launched FE Voices back in 2016 to give a voice back to everyone in the sector, as long as it is solution led… then we would love to share your views with the FE Community.

Gavin O’Meara, CEO and Founder, FE News and FE Careers

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