Anthony Impey

Two weeks ago, it was business as usual and COVID-19 was just something in the news headlines. Today, the government has brought the country to a standstill in an attempt to control the spread of the virus and curtail its death toll.

I have spoken to lots of entrepreneurs and small business owners over the last week and we are all fighting for the survival of our businesses. For many, a life’s work has been decimated in a matter of days. And it’s not like there is anyone with all the answers of how to respond because nothing remotely like this has happened before. No amount of planning or foresight could prepare a business for the scale of the challenge we now face. There haven’t been any webinars about planning for a health and economic apocalypse… well, not until last week!

Entrepreneurs and small business owners across the world are focused on how to get through the next few months while the healthcare system gets the virus under control. I have seen how some have been able to pivot their business models in response to the new world order, including colleges and training providers who have moved their classes online to continue teaching and educating. For many others, such a rapid change in direction is not feasible and fighting for survival is the only option.

There is some solace in the government’s willingness to take bold action in response to the crisis. Last week alone, the headline economic measures included £330bn pledged to support businesses and a comprehensive job retention scheme. Many parts of the economy are still left without any safety net including the self-employed who make up a significant and essential part of the workforce. And while the Further Education sector has received some assurances about funding, many independent training providers lack clarity about their funding during the crisis.

What is evident, is that the machinery of government is in overdrive to keep as much of the economy as intact as possible, because while recession is inevitable there could be a strong rebound if the business infrastructure is still in place. A key part of this is the skills system, which will need to be stronger than ever to reskill the workforce that will be needed post-crisis.

I know that all the business representative groups, including the Federation of Small Businesses, where I chair the Apprenticeships and Skills Policy Unit, have been working night and day to channel their members’ issues and advise government on what needs to happen. The input of their expert advice is helping determine how government responds to specific business challenges.

The next few months are going to be unbelievably hard for every entrepreneur and small business owner. But, in all this uncertainty, the one thing that we can be sure of is that it will end, and normality will return; perhaps different to the one we had before, but it will return.  And as entrepreneurs and small business leaders, we will play a crucial role in rebuilding the economy. Our innovation, creativity and agility are precisely the qualities required to do this.

The very best of luck to you all.

Anthony Impey, Serial entrepreneur and chair of the Apprenticeships and Skills Policy Unit, Federation of Small Businesses

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video


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 Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 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, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

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