Andrew Hough, Founder and CEO- Association of Professional Sales

The UK economy is undergoing a profound period of disruption. The COVID-19 pandemic has created the conditions for rapidly rising unemployment and declining GDP. Even before the pandemic, our national productivity was flatlining, and key industries reported significant skills gaps. 

The promise of a vaccine for COVID-19 could represent the faint glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. We all hope that before too long, things return to some measure of normality. Even still, the scale of the disruption caused by the pandemic will have long-lasting effects. The unemployment rate is predicted to rise into 2021, and there is a distinct possibility that the events of the last year could lead to long-term economic scarring. 

These are a daunting set of challenges, but it is our contention that to achieve a fair and sustainable economic recovery, investment in skills will be critically important. 

The Government mantra to "build, back better" can only be realised by investing in people's ability to, retrain and acquire new skills. Crucially, we believe that there is a significant and underappreciated role for sales skills to power the industries that will be at the heart of a reconstituted modern British economy. Salespeople will lead the way in promoting the benefits of new technologies to enhance connectivity and improve the efficiency and efficacy of decision making. Or, when we consider the immensity of the environmental challenges we face, salespeople will have a hand in advocating for the kinds of solutions that will usher in a green transformation of production and consumption across the UK. 

Yet, if we recognise the value of salespeople in helping to boost critical sectors of the economy, there remains a question about the best mechanism to achieve this. Where will a pipeline of forward-thinking, dynamic salespeople come from? Here, we see apprenticeships as playing a critical role. Some sectors, like retail, hospitality, and tourism, have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, and there is a clear rationale to use apprenticeships as a mechanism to point people towards a career in sales. There is not a "one size fits all" approach to retraining, so a variety of mechanisms are needed: from short courses and modular provision to more intensive programmes of study. But apprenticeships will undoubtedly form a central pillar of retraining interventions to help get people back into work.

It does, however, go without saying that the pandemic has massively impacted apprenticeship starts. The apprenticeship system was facing challenges before 2020, but multiple stay at home orders and business closures have had a devastating impact. However, our eyes should remain on the future as we consider how we can start to lay the groundwork for a revitalisation of apprenticeships as a key pillar of our national economic recovery. A positive aspect of the Government's economic response to the pandemic has been the introduction of new incentive payments for employers who take on a new apprentice. The incentives are currently scheduled to run until 31st January 2021, but with so much uncertainty and disruption that is sure to persist well beyond the new year, we think that there is a strong case to extend these incentives up until the middle of next year. 

Both Collab Group and the APS are committed to the transformative potential of apprenticeships to boost our economic recovery. What we have witnessed over the last year could represent nothing short of a re-wiring of the UK economy. Even before 2020, the large-scale trends of automation and artificial intelligence were disrupting industries rapidly—now, the pandemic has accelerated this disruption at an unprecedented scale. Ultimately, things may not go back to how they were before, but by investing in the skills and capabilities of sales professionals, we stand a good chance of achieving a fair and equitable economic recovery. 

Andrew Hough, Founder and CEO- Association of Professional Sales

To find out more, check out the Collab Group and APS check out the links below:

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 8 hours 10 minutes ago

Digifest 2021 expo orientation

Get a first look at the Digifest 2021 expo area, as well as useful information on how to move around and explore the interactive elements.

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 8 hours 10 minutes ago

RT @FENews: The three things Rishi Sunak needs to address in his March Budget: Senior IFS Research Economist Jonathan Cribb looks at the Ch…
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