The students getting their results this week deserve a huge amount of respect and congratulations having come through a very difficult two years of their education and training. They have faced tremendous disruption and uncertainty, yet they have continued to learn in new and in many cases very difficult ways. Despite this the headlines in the media are all about grade inflation and the problems universities and employers will face. Even the term grade inflation is unhelpful.
You never know building a system based on trust may just be the way forward.
No one could have predicted during the first lockdown in March last year that 10 months later we would have the highest number of people in hospital with Covid ever and the Secretary of State for Health saying that this is the ‘worst moment of the pandemic’.Despite the terrible figures and the personal stories we all have of this terrible epidemic we can look forward to a time when the inoculation programme starts to have an impact on the levels of infections, illness and deaths.
One of the few things that everyone has agreed on during the pandemic is that it will take a heavy toll on jobs and that those who will be most affected will be those who have disadvantages in the job market be that a lack of skills and experience and those that have physical or mental barriers. It is therefore a relief that one of the Chancellors big priorities in the spending review is protecting and creating jobs.
Last week I had the great privilege to see the Euroskills 2018 Competition in Budapest. These national and international skills competitions are always very inspiring as you see first-hand the commitment and skill of these talented young people and the support they are given by their coaches and experts.
I had a number of responses from my FE News article last week on the 20% off the job training (OTJT) rules. Many agreed that in most cases the 20% OTJT can be managed by providers as long as the ESFA enables providers to interpret the rules to ensure that it benefits apprentices and employers and is not just another audit process.
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