Layla Moran, the Liberal Democrat Shadow Education Secretary

The economy is changing fast but successive governments have not prepared people for the challenges ahead.

As technology improves and our population ages, almost half of workers today will have to retrain in their lifetime.

Business leaders tell us that too few workers have the skills our future economy needs.

You would think that addressing these economic challenges would be central to any political party’s manifesto.

But instead, the Conservatives and Labour will fight this election justifying the economic damage they will do with their competing versions of Brexit.

By contrast, Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit altogether and invest in our public services.

But we also want to build a brighter future by tackling these longer-term economic challenges too.

That’s why our former leader, Sir Vince Cable, created an Independent Commission on Lifelong Learning.

It would consider how we can remove the barriers that stop people getting the education, skills and training they will need to thrive in the future economy and take the next step on the career ladder.

The Commission concluded that Skills Wallets are part of the solution – and I agree!

Giving people the power to decide what, how and when they earn

Under our proposals, every adult in England would be given an online Skills Wallet, giving people the power to decide what, how and when they earn:

  • Central government would top it up over a person’s lifetime: £4,000 at age 25, and then £3,000 at ages 40 and 55.
  • Local government would add money to support people on low incomes or to incentivise education in their area.
  • Employers could offer top-ups as a workplace benefit.
  • Learners themselves could also save.

Then, learners aged 25 or over could spend the money on an education or training programme of their choice – at any level, no matter what they’ve previously studied.

Study one module or an entire course – the choice is up to you.

Free Careers Guidance

Learners would be given free careers guidance to help them pick a course that will meet their personal or career development aims, and the Office for Students would be given an expanded remit to monitor course quality.

This is a matter of fairness. Anyone could need to go back to education, to change careers, get a promotion or pick up a new hobby.

Giving someone the skills they need to take that next step in their career helps not just that person, but their community and the country.

Liberal Democrats are putting education at the heart of this election campaign, with a plan to provide free childcare, reverse school cuts, invest in colleges and boost the quality and quantity of apprenticeships. Everyone, no matter their age or background, has the right to an education, to learn new skills, nurture creativity and develop their talents.

With Skills Wallets, everyone will have the power to learn new skills and develop existing ones, so that they feel happier, healthier and have the knowledge they need to thrive in the modern economy.

Layla Moran is the Liberal Democrat Shadow Education Secretary

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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