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EBooks – reaching the learners that paper excludes?

Electronic courseware holds immense potential, as yet relatively unexplored says Neil Georgeson of KnowledgePoint

Birmingham Metropolitan College training leads to job success at West Midland Safari Park

Photograph shows: Alison Marshall of BMet College and Mark Brooks of West Midland Safari Park welcome new recruits James Bennett, Darrell Williams and John Breen. (photograph by Amelia Rabin)

Understanding the value of a good apprenticeship

Carwood’s general manager Anthony James understands the value of a good apprenticeship – having started his now successful career as an apprentice – and he also appreciates the help provided by The Apprenticeship Works service to make sure the right young people walk through his door…

Voice of Apprenticeship Conference 2016

FE News Video coverage and news stories from the Voice of Apprenticeship Conference 2016.

Should we put hamburgers into hot-dog buns?

If, by analogy, you accept that hamburgers are vocational trainers and hot-dog buns are academically based vocational trainer qualifications, this seemingly nonsensical question may lead you to consider a second question. Does academic methodology provide a vocational training qualification that is fit for purpose? My response is that it does not and that there is a need to offer a professional qualification appropriate to vocational training activities. I would like to open a discussion by setting out my view of training and suggesting the framework of how such a qualification may be achieved.

The 5 key characteristics of using solution-focused coaching with learners

There are many definitions of coaching but one of the most widely recognised is 'coaching is unlocking a person's potential to maximise their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them' (Whitmore, 2002).The solution-focused approach to coaching is, as the title suggests, essentially trying to make greater progress with the learner by focusing on where they want to get to and understanding what skills and knowledge they need to get there, rather than spending excessive amounts of time exploring the problem or issue they may be facing.One of the principal features of a solution-focused coaching approach, and one of the reasons why we advocate its use with learners through your teaching and personal tutor role, is that it can significantly reduce any inferiority learners feel about themselves or their current situation. Furthermore, in terms of emotional well-being, experience shows that this approach helps learners to think more optimistically, behave more confidently, as well as engage with their goals which become more self-generated.The following 5 key characteristics help you focus the way you view and use solution-focused coaching in your day to day conversations with learners:1. Positive change can occurSolution-focused coaching works on the assumption that positive change can occur with your learners and that this change can happen quickly.2. Clear goals and self-directed actionYou should work with each learner to define specific goals, however, it's worth noting a good coaching conversation 'doesn't stop when it stops'. Set a clear expectation that the learner must be self-directed and take the responsibility to implement actions to achieve their goals outside of the coaching conversations.3. Develop solutions and focus on the future; don't dwell on problems within the past or presentEnsure you listen to any issues or problems to communicate empathy and develop rapport with your learners. However, swiftly move the conversation on to exploring future goals, past successes and what skills, knowledge and abilities they have.4. Use the learner's experience, expertise and resourcesA solution-focused coach is an enabler and facilitator. There is a belief that the learner is likely to already have the answers and the ability to take themselves forward and, as their teacher or personal tutor, it is your role to help them notice this.When learners feel they have worked something out for themselves, there is a greater chance that they will ask themselves these questions in the future and coach themselves. The best coaches in some ways become 'invisible'.5. Reframe the learner's perspective and help them to notice positivesReframing is useful and helps learners to notice:

Loans, levies and localism: the changing nature of funding for adult education and training

Over the next few years we will see significant changes to the funding of adult learning in England, and the most recent funding guidance and rules published by the Skills Funding Agency reflect this direction of travel.

Cardiff and Vale College joins forces with new partners to offer more Higher Education courses

Cardiff and Vale College has joined forces with a range of new partner universities to offer a range of exciting new higher education courses, enabling to people to study for a degree without leaving college.

Significant investment in Cardiff International Sports Stadium to be made through CAVC and Cardiff City House of Sport partnership

Cardiff International Sports Stadium is now officially being managed by a partnership between Cardiff and Vale College and Cardiff City House of Sport after a proposal to secure the future of the facility was agreed by Cardiff Council in March 2015.

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