FE Voices

Tony Wilson, director of the Institute for Employment Studies (IES)

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

The government’s #PlanForJobs today (8 Jul) is welcome, comprehensive and recognises the scale of the employment crisis that we are now facing. It’s clear that the government has listened to and learned from the evidence of what has worked before and what needs to happen now.

The sad reality is that even with these announcements, we will almost certainly see unemployment rising above three million in the coming year, to levels that we have not seen since the 1980s.

However with today’s measures there is a good chance that we can avoid it reaching the four or five million that many of us had feared.

Top Two Priorities:

The top two priorities today had to be to try to minimise job losses as the furlough scheme unwinds, and alongside this to put in place the right support for those out of work to find new jobs:

1. Minimise Job Losses

On the first of these, the announcement of a new £1,000 retention bonus for keeping on furloughed staff should make a real difference for many firms in industries that have been hit hard by the crisis, and will be particularly well targeted at supporting lower paid workers at risk of job loss.

2. Support for the Unemployed

On support for the unemployed, the detail of today’s speech reads like a how-to kit for dealing with a big recession – a doubling in employment service staffing, investment in redundancy response, expansion of careers advice, more money for re-training including hiring incentives, a new programme for the long-term unemployed, and a jobs guarantee for young people. This might be old wine in new bottles, but it’s good wine and the better for it – doing things that have been tried, tested and will work.

However a number of big challenges will remain:

1. Mobilising our employment response

First, we are now three months into the crisis and cannot afford to lose any more time in mobilising our employment response. The government made no mention today of the role of private recruiters, many of whom are being paid not to work through the furlough scheme and should be being paid to help the unemployed right now, while we put in place these new measures.

2. The role of local authorities

Second, central government cannot do this alone – and there was no mention either of the role of local authorities in helping to co-ordinate and lead the response locally, or of the voluntary and community sector in engaging and supporting those out of work. To make matters harder still, we are starting from a very low base – with the contracted-out employment market just one sixth of the size that it was on the eve of the last recession.

3. Greater focus on rehabilitation and support to re-enter work

Third, there was very little today on help for those with health conditions and disabled people. Nearly half of disabled people are out of work, and we know that many of those who have been off work will need more support to return. We need to ensure that the planned extension of the Work and Health Programme is targeted at supporting these groups, and to see a far greater focus on rehabilitation and support to re-enter work.

4. Will This Be Enough?

And finally, even with the scale of the response today, there will surely be concerns about whether this will be enough. To take one example, the maximum value of the ‘kickstart’ subsidy for young people will be a third lower than that offered through the Future Jobs Fund, but is intended to create four times as many jobs.

Whether it can fund the sorts of transitional jobs for disadvantaged groups that the FJF delivered will remain to be seen. Furthermore, the £100 million investment in support for 18-19 year olds will repair just a fraction of the cuts in further education funding in recent years – we will surely need more than this in the coming months.

All told though, today’s announcements are welcome and comprehensive. It is clear that we will be dealing with the labour impacts of this crisis for years rather than months, but today’s measures should help to mitigate the worst impacts on many households and to support the recovery.

Tony Wilson, director of the Institute for Employment Studies (IES)

Sponsored Video


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 3 hours 10 minutes ago

Is this the most technologically advanced...

Graduates Honoured with Holographic Commencement Speakers in #VR & In-person, Outdoor Celebration with Zoom attendees on video wall.Thunderbird...

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 4 hours 8 minutes ago

Announcing vGHC EMEA

Join us for our first-ever Virtual Grace Hopper Celebration (vGHC) in the European, Middle Eastern, and African (EMEA) region, which will be our...

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 4 hours 12 minutes ago

vGHC Closing

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