Gavin & Kirsty

Welcome to the launch of this new podcast series, and join me, Gavin O'Meara, and Kirstie Donnelly, CEO of City & Guilds for a #VirtualCoffee and chat. 

In this episode we discuss National Apprenticeship Week, and the importance of showing the love to Apprenticeships. 

Kirstie asks, do we need to have flexibility around the Apprenticeship Levy? For example in hospitality, as an industry we have had a lost year due to Covid for Apprenticeships, so is there scope to have increased flexibility for the Levy for employers to engage more Apprentices as we come out of the pandemic.

How do we encourage DfE, DWP and BEIS to all come around the same table?

Kirstie discusses the importance of DfE, DWP and BEIS coming together for a more joined up approach and we explore, could data be the key to bringing these different Government departments all around the same table to come up with a holistic approach for the future.

We then discuss the FE White Paper, the Skills for Jobs White Paper, why the change in the title is significant. Kirstie highlights that ITP's (Independent Training Providers) didn't get much of a mention in the White Paper. We unpack College Business Centres, what could be learnt from Colleges without walls report, and what a College Business Centre of the future could be? Could College Business Centres transform the high street, live-work units are old hat now, but could we move into a new age of work / learn business spaces through College Business Centres?

Learning all lifelong

Lifelong learning is massively important to Kirstie, so we discuss the concept of learning loans that are mentioned in the White Paper and if this can help adults with level 4 and 5 and above. Kirstie interesting starts to explore outcomes, rather than be restricted by qualification levels by ‘selling opportunities’ to learners. This is very interesting, when you think about her day job!

This past year has been the age of flexible digital delivery, so we then explore the FE Digital real estate, compared to physical buildings and the importance of accessibility. Should and could the sector be thinking about more funding or support around the FE sector’s real estate and is there a need again for a combined Government department approach to help remove the digital divide and digital poverty?

25% of learners are willing to pay for new learning and an access route to new opportunities

Last week, City & Guilds launched the very timely Building Bridges towards the Future of Jobs Report. We unpack some of the findings, which were incredibly timely with the White Paper in mind. Some interesting stats around the Building Bridges report are that a third of Britons are worried about restarting their career, but only a quarter are willing to fund training themselves. So we explore the importance of Careers Advice and Guidance and what these stats could mean for learner loans.

Kirstie highlights the opportunity that this data potentially means for the sector, looking at the figures reveals that 725% of learners are willing to pay for new learning and an access route to new opportunities. Does this provide new commercial opportunities for the FE and Skills sector and what models could this bring into play?

The Building Bridges report also discusses transferrable skills and enabling people from different industries to pivot into new roles. We explore some practical steps for employers to be open-minded and inclusive and ways to educate recruitment ‘Gatekeepers’ to be open minded and inclusive in their search for talent.

Check out the podcast below to hear what Kirstie has to say:

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

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