Changes to the UK’s education system come at a time when post-Brexit we need a renewed focus on developing home-grown skills. In the past year, we have seen the introduction of Trailblazer Apprenticeships, proposals for the implementation of the Apprenticeship Levy and wider reforms to create 15 new technical routes for school leavers. The restructure of education and training serves to address a nation-wide issue of low productivity and ongoing skills shortages. The policies we are seeing emerge from the government are a reassuring move toward reinvigorating the development of higher level and technical skills through work-based learning routes.  These vocational routes for far too long have been given far less attention than traditional university education.  

The education system has typically catered for the academically-able pupils pushing them to follow a ‘natural’ course to university education. Unsurprisingly, a one-size fits all approach has left a large proportion of young people feeling disenfranchised by this system. We still have 865,000 16-24 year-olds, or 12% of all young people, classified as Not in Education, Employment or Training.  And CMI’s latest report with the EY Foundation, “An Age of Uncertainty”, covering young people’s views on the challenges of getting into work in 21st century Britain, showed how over a third of young people lack confidence in getting a job, and how employers and educators need to work together much better.

It was clear that many young people are just not being offered suitable work experience or vocational routes to equip them with the relevant skills and training.  Training in management and leadership is often overlooked, with a mere one in five managers currently qualified in the area. Entering the workforce is daunting enough, take that alongside the poor knowledge of the world of work, a lack of work experience and practical skills, and poor careers information and advice, and it’s a pretty rough ride for young people.

The lack of belief in reputable vocational training routes and poor collaboration between education providers and employers has contributed to a ‘skills poverty’ across a number of industries. When it comes to recruitment, a shocking 87% of employers have reported difficultly sourcing candidates with the desired skills. Matching training to employer needs is fundamental to upskilling the workforce and boosting productivity. With pressures increasing in the post-Brexit vote climate, it has never been more crucial for education providers and employers to work together to close the productivity and skills gap. And it starts with education.

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The new Trailblazer Apprenticeships offer employers of all sizes the opportunity to shape the training and courses to meet their business’ needs. In 2015, CMI helped to launch the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA) alongside a group of employers and HE institutions to bring together higher education and professional chartered status, delivered through work-based experience and learning. Degree level courses are being offered alongside Level 3 and 5 apprenticeships to accommodate school leavers and existing employees at varying levels.

Ahead of the proposed Apprenticeship Levy, many employers are now starting to consider where they can best invest in their talent. Despite concerns voiced by a number of employers over the cost, the longer-term benefits outweigh the pay-out.  Just taking the added-value that Chartered Managers offer their organisations, on average over £391k, the return on investment is clear.  Acting fast and thinking smart will allow employers to maximise their funding and pool of resources. The Apprenticeship Levy should be viewed more as investment credit, and can be used to invest in professional training for school leavers as well as upskilling existing employees and leaders. Central to the success of new schemes is the collaboration between employers and education providers.

Published in July, the government’s ‘Post-16 Skills Plan’ sets out the case for the reform of the skills system to provide individuals with vocational and technical education pathways. The engagement between employers and education providers is vital to hitting the mark. Failing to educate school leavers on the options available to them and not fully preparing them for the world of work is letting down our young people. The transition between education and work is still far too disjointed and this needs to change. The new plan aims to bring together FE institutions and employers to deliver high quality apprenticeships and ensure informed advice is communicated.

The opportunity for education providers is clear.  Providers need to be able to deliver a work-ready generation of school leavers. Through the apprenticeship routes, increased funding will go into supporting young people and adults alike to provide training to individuals at all stages in their professional career. Learning doesn’t stop at any age and constantly updating skills and knowledge is crucial to keeping up with the rapidly changing world.

While much work remains to be done, the prospects for young people are looking up. We have a nation of talented and aspiring young people waiting to unlock their potential. All they need is the key.  New apprenticeship routes, including the CMDA, will help to open the door to fulfilling careers and offer a new way of developing the skilled and highly productive workforce the UK needs.

Read CMI’s full Skills First Report here

Petra Wilton, CMI

 

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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.

Podcasts

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.

Events

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.

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