I can hardly believe we’re half way through 2016 and almost at the end of Edge’s Career Footsteps campaign which we launched back in February.

The idea was born out of Edge’s realisation that young people are not getting the careers advice they need and deserve. The Careers and Enterprise Company may have come with £20 million attached, but it is a tenth of the budget of the abolished Connexions Service.  Schools now bear the responsibility for careers information, advice and guidance, but have scant resources to deliver the comprehensive service young people need to make informed choices about their future.

Why a campaign

Edge also recognises the need for a greater breadth of advice to include all available options. The majority of teachers have followed the well-trodden post-16 education road to university via A levels and inevitably we all share what is most familiar and we feel best informed about. In a survey commissioned by Edge, only 13% of secondary school teachers said they had a good knowledge of Advanced Apprenticeships, compared with 69% who said they had a good knowledge of degrees.

Edge’s ambition for Career Footsteps is to help schools augment their careers advice offer and raise greater awareness throughout the education sector of the vocational options available. We’ve been working with the Education and Employers Taskforce who already run their excellent scheme, Inspiring the Future, which invites volunteer professionals to spend an hour talking about their career to students in the classroom.

What the teachers said

Of course, Edge want young people to know that there are many paths to success including via practical and technical subjects, so all the professionals who volunteered to take part in Career Footsteps have experience of vocational learning.  Over 100 events have taken place in schools with wonderful feedback from students, their teachers and the volunteers themselves.

A head of year at a school in Cornwall said:

‘All of our pupils and teachers thoroughly enjoyed it, particularly the hands on experience. The opportunity to ask questions and understand the process involved in getting jobs and choosing different career pathways was invaluable.’

She also commented that students had gained insight into particular jobs, new and useful information on vocational pathways, careers and employment, a boost in confidence and an aspiration to succeed.

Our volunteer professionals have ranged from HR managers, jewellery technicians, engineers, surveyors, stone masons, project managers, managing directors and architects and they’ve visited schools across the country talking to young people at different key stages.

Why it’s important

Evidence shows that young people with more developed career-planning skills are not only more confident about their post-16 choices, but research has found that those who attend careers IAG talks from external professionals between the ages of 14-16, were paid more 10 years later than peers who received less guidance.

Young people who are unable to find their own pathway are more likely to become NEET, so any extra resource given to careers advice is an investment, not just in their future, but in our future economy and society.

A big debate

I am writing this blog in the aftermath of the result of the EU referendum. Inevitably everyone across all sectors is considering the implications of the result and the possible social and economic impacts on the country.  Next week there is another debate which though perhaps not comparable in scale, I believe could also have enormous repercussions for future generations.

On Monday 4 July, the debate secured by the petition of over 100,000 signatures opposed to the Government’s ambition to ensure 90% of 16 year olds take the full EBacc, will take place. The imposition of seven subjects of the Government’s choosing – English language and literature, maths, two separate sciences, history or geography and a foreign language – will limit choice for our young people.

For stronger students, adding a technical or creative subject may still be an option, but others will be compelled to drop subjects in which they may excel and set up to fail in others which they don’t. We see evidence of this already as entries for GCSE Design and Technology have fallen by 29% over the last five years.

There is a widening skills gap in the UK – particularly in areas such as engineering and IT – and the imposition of the EBacc will exacerbate, not address this. Our Career Footsteps campaign has demonstrated that individuals pursuing practical, technical and vocational options not only have successful and rewarding careers, but fill increasingly critical parts of the nation’s workforce and play a pivotal role in the success of the UK economy.

I hope readers will take the opportunity to alert their local MPs and parliamentary contacts to the importance of this debate, encourage them to take part and support the Bacc for the Future campaign. 

Alice Barnard is chief executive of Edge

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 14 hours 13 minutes ago

RT @FENews: NGWLive: Network Rail: NGWLive: Network Rail https://t.co/zqS6YwqgxP
View Original Tweet

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 18 hours 21 minutes ago

City of London Corporation provides Square Mile schoolchildren with food vouchers during half term break:… https://t.co/QilxKc8yaD
View Original Tweet

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 May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 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.

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