Featured Voices

Andreas Karaiskos, CEO, Fitch Learning
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

The #Kickstart Scheme – Creating New Jobs for Young People 

In the UK, the Government designed the Kickstart Scheme to create new job opportunities for 16 to 24-year olds on Universal Credit, who were most at risk of long-term unemployment in some of Britain’s most innovative companies, including Financial Services firms.

When the Chancellor of The Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced the £2bn Kickstart Scheme in Summer 2020, he claimed that hundreds of thousands of six-month paid job placements would be offered to young people, who could be left behind because of the pandemic, with local employers in fully paid positions that were funded by the Government.  But is enough being done?

Too Much Red Tape

Although 120,000 placements for 16-24-year olds across all industries have been created under the £2bn scheme, which is set to run until the end of December 2021, just 2,000 young people have started in new roles since the Kickstart Scheme began.

Employers, who are paid a £2,000 grant for each new apprenticeship they sign up, claimed that there was just too much red tape to handle and think tanks, such as the Resolution Foundation, are now calling on the Kickstart Scheme to be extended beyond December 2021 and also recommending that there should be more traineeship and apprenticeship places.

Initially, one of the most significant barriers to entry for SMEs wanting to take part in the scheme was the need for firms to create at least 30 new positions in order to be eligible. Although, some enterprising fintechs did manage to join together with The Fintech Power 50 to open up the fintech sector to young people and thereby fulfil the government’s criteria, everyone was not able to take this route.

Keir Starmer 100x100For me, Sir Keir Starmer’s recent response to The Budget  on Weds 3 March, shed the most revealing light on this issue when he said:

“The Chancellor said very little about the Kickstart Scheme, that’s no doubt because the Kickstart is only helping one in every 100 eligible young people, yet youth unemployment is set to reach one million.

"Like so much of this Budget, the Chancellor’s offer is nowhere near the scale of the task.”

So, it very much appears that the reality for many observers is that the numbers just don’t stack up to the size of challenge and we may all be witnessing large scale youth unemployment soon, if we fail to act now.

The U.S. Apprenticeship Model

It’s great news that the U.S. House of Representatives voted on 5 February to modernize the country’s underfunded and outdated apprenticeship system to meet 21st-century workforce needs under the leadership of Rep. Bobby Scott.

If it becomes law, then the National Apprenticeship Act of 2021 will invest more than $3.5billion over next five years to deliver nearly 1 million new apprenticeship opportunities. Brookings recently convened a thought-provoking event with leading politicians, industry leaders and employers to examine exactly what it will mean to modernize and expand apprenticeships.

Addressing the Imbalance – Closing funding and diversity gaps

Whichever side of the Atlantic you’re sitting on, it’s vital that we all take adequate steps now to expand our talent pool in the financial services industry. If we’re going to be able to address the current imbalance and address any funding, legislation and diversity gaps, then employers, academics and industry leaders must work globally hand-in-hand with experienced learning providers, like Fitch Learning, to not only understand how they can make the most of government funding, but devise right-sized apprenticeship schemes that are fit for the 21st Century.

Our apprenticeship schemes must be inclusive and give disadvantaged young people a real kick start in their chosen careers by not only offering them first-class opportunities to gain on job training, hands-on mentoring and qualifications, but by delivering the right combination of skills that are key for their employability in the future. Data management, machine learning and AI skills, will all become pre-requisite for many job roles in order to thrive in the financial services sector during the next ten years.

Top Five Tips for Running Apprenticeship Schemes

These are my top tips for setting up and delivering the best schemes that will be fit for the 21st Century:

1. The Right Balance - Program Design and Funding

It’s really important to familiarize yourself with all the funding schemes that are available when you are setting up an apprenticeship scheme. Hiring apprentices can seem costly at first glance, but these sums can vary widely depending on the training route and program design you choose, and the amount that any government may contribute to funding costs.

You need to factor these costs into your program design and ensure that it meets any eligibility criteria.  At Fitch Learning, we regularly advise firms on how to achieve the right balance between their program design and funding costs.

2. Listen to Leaders and use Inspiring Mentors

Young people entering the financial services industry need to inspiring mentors and want to hear from leaders whose stories they can truly identify with on all levels according to their own gender, race or backgrounds. The Financial Services Industry has recently made some progress on gender diversity, but there is still a long way to go.

For example, I read an article in The Banker providing some unique insights from inspiring women leaders on furthering the diversity agenda, which was written by Joy McKnight, who has become the first women to lead The Banker in its 95-year history. If we are going to get the mix of our workforces right, then we need the right kind of leaders in place whom can share their stories.

3. Remove Barriers to Change

Today’s best talent may come in many forms, there are now so many more routes to entry into financial services firms than there were in the past, but not everyone is aware that things have changed. More often than not people from disadvantaged backgrounds do not consider a career in financial services, because they think it will not be right for them, or they won’t be able to succeed. Building strong partnerships with schools, colleges and universities at a grass roots level can help employers to foster strong community ties, improve understanding and create a strong pipeline of suitable apprentices and graduate trainees for their firms.

I was really pleased to see JPMorgan Chase and the Sutton Trust recently launch a nearly £4.8 million endowment fund to improve the access to employability opportunities for underserved, low-income and BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) university students in the UK, starting with 350 students in the next ten years.

4. Talent Development - Close the Skills Gap

It is important for firms to recruit a cohort of apprentices that will all be going through the same experience at the same time and can then rely on their peers and mentors for support whilst they earn and learn. Firms must also make sure that apprentices understand that this scheme is part of a career path, not a one-off learning experience. If firms create the right culture and scheme from the start, then they can ultimately reward and promote their best apprentices by either offering them unique opportunities to learn the best skills and move into permanent roles, rather than training them up and then losing them to the competition. This will enable them to develop their talent on the job and close the skills gap.

5. Showcase Successes

It’s important for employers to showcase their successes. If your apprenticeship scheme has gone well, then don’t just stay quiet, let young people know about it, preferably on social media. A survey carried out by AudienceProject revealed that 82 percent of 15 to 25-year-olds said they used the video-sharing platform, making it more popular than Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram. You may then find the best rising star to join your next cohort!

Andreas Karaiskos, CEO, Fitch Learning

Sponsored Video

Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Is a 'love of learning' far from common among tutors/students,
and (Love being blind, madness, a...

AELP Webinar Team added a new event 2 days ago

Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers – Refresh 2021

Overview It has been nearly two years since the ESFA refreshed the current Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers, therefore it is time for...

  • Thursday, 14 October 2021 10:00 AM
  • Online

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.

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.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page