From education to employment

All change! What the new Ed Secretary & her team of familiar faces could mean for FE? FE Soundbite edition 668

Gavin O'Meara

Welcome to FE Soundbite – edition 668. This is the weekly e-newsletter and e-journal brought to you be FE News ISSN 2732-4095. The World is all a bit blink and you miss it at the moment. Team FE News also appreciates that this also means you are probably super busy as well, so here is your weekly FE News round up of the big announcements, the interesting reports and cool thought leadership articles from influencers in Further Education, Skills and Employability.

New PM, New Education Secretary and some familiar faces as Ministers return to DfE!

Well, what a difference a few days makes! Rishi Sunak has been announced as the new PM. This is interesting. When Rishi was Chancellor, he was interested in looking at the Apprenticeship Levy and increasing investment in Skills from employers… so what could this mean for the near future? Answer is… no one knows, probably not even Rishi!..but it is interesting! I am feeling positive.

When Rishi was Chancellor, he headed up the push on Kickstart and Restart... and employability programmes. Usually unheard of from Treasury. I am hopeful that Rishi’s appointment is great news for learners, employers and the FE and Skills eco-system. On reflection… this also means two out of the last three Prime Ministers have written exclusives for FE News (the other one was from Boris Johnson).

There have been some interesting articles from Professor Tom Bewick with Will prime minister Sunak embrace a new vision for FE? and “Rishi Sunak is pro youth” says youth expert Jack Parsons. Rishi is an interesting appointment! Both Tom and Jack are right to feel excited in my opinion.

When we thought the interesting appointments were completed … then there were a flurry, of former faces!

Former Apprentice and Former Skills Minister Gillian Keegan, was announced as Education Secretary. Interesting, Gillian seemed really nice to me when she was Skills Minister… genuinely up for making a difference. Also it is unusual for an Education Secretary to have a solid understanding of Skills and the challenges, not being funny… they usually think their role is mainly about schools! This is an interesting appointment.

Then came the announcement that Rob Halfon, former Skills Minister and head honcho of the Education Select Committee… is back as a Minister at DfE. This is also incredibly interesting! Rob has written for us several times when he was heading up the Education Select Committee and he also championed skills and many wider areas of the FE and Skills system, particularly around addressing social mobility. Top appointment in my mind! Roles still have yet to be announced for Rob Halfon and Nick Gibb at the time of writing (but this is a fast moving world, who knows what could have happened by now)! Blink and you miss it stuff!

What a difference in a few days. Nothing is guaranteed… but not being funny, it feels like a lot of experience just stepped into influential roles and all with a passion for FE, Skills and Employability. I am living in hope that his is great news. It feels like a FE Dream team just stepped in. Oh yes!.. at last! Hoping… praying that this is great news for a brighter skills and employability future, maybe some joined up thinking. I am so excited… I feel HOPE for a better tomorrow!

Interesting reports launched this week

Lord David Blunkett launched a very interesting Learning and Skills Report … and will be a very influential report, particularly for the Labour Party skills policy. So this is well worth a check out!

The Campaign for Learning Cost of Living report was continued to be unpacked on FE News. We also have a cool livestream unpacking the cost of living and Apprenticeships live on #FutureOfApprenticeships – Cost of Living on Thursday 3rd November at 10am! This is going to be a cracking livestream.. great guests unpacking loads of perspectives from the Campaign for Learning report… I will also hosting LIVE from Singapore!

Yep.. I am off to Singapore all of next week for a cool Lifelong Learning Summit – with experts from ILO, OECD, Unicef and the Singapore Gov… so I am hoping to bring some global perspective into the Thursday Cost of Living Livestream as well! It should be an interesting one… and live from Singapore… never thought I would say that! Another cool reflection, this shows the reach of FE News to global players (as they asked if I would go). So I am aiming to shoot a bunch of videos with interesting people, manybe with new and different perspectives from the conference, so keep an eye out for that next week.

Anyway… this week we also had loads of cool exclusives this week (we had 10 exclusive main features this week)

I hope you enjoy FE Soundbite this week!

Gavin, CEO and Founder, FE News and FE Careers

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