New @CForLearning paper on moving from small-scale to large scale participation
A new discussion paper from the Campaign for Learning considers how to move from a small-scale to large-scale system of post-18 technical education.
Growing level 4 and 5 Technical Education – a segmented policy approach sets out a framework to define clearly the current drivers and contexts that might affect participation in higher-level technical education and policy recommendations to address these.
Currently, the numbers of people studying for level 4 and 5 technical education is low. Between the academic years 2016/17 and 2017/18, the number on vocational sub-degrees dropped to c35,000.
If the government wishes to expand participation significantly to hundreds of thousands of learners, the paper recommends using a framework which segments potential learners into four separate ‘markets’ based on their age group (18-24 or 25+) and mode of study (part-time or full-time).
In addition, the paper analyses participation on level 4 and 5 provision in the context of the nature of employment and employer support. Together, these approaches create a more nuanced picture and fuller understanding from which to develop a growth strategy.
The paper shows, for example, that growing 18+ part-time technical education will need a strategy that supports a clearly defined role for employers which is designed to sit alongside level 4 and 5 apprenticeships and avoids cutting across them.
Julia Wright, National Director at the Campaign for Learning said:
“As this paper demonstrates, considering age and mode of study together gives a clearer idea of where it may be easier or more difficult to increase participation in higher-level technical education. Also, it helps us to understand where there might be competition or conflicts with other parts of the post-18 education system such as higher-level apprenticeships.
We hope that this paper and its recommendations will be used to inform thinking on this important area for the forthcoming FE/HE White Paper.”
John Widdowson, former college principal said:
“The need for effective individuals with higher technical qualifications has never been greater and yet the number of people with these qualifications has seen a marked decline in recent years. The much anticipated White Paper will undoubtedly underline this need and challenge institutions, providers and employers to collaborate to fill the gap. This paper is a valuable and timely contribution to the debate. As well as providing clear analysis, it signposts ways in which these new partnerships can make real progress.”