Andy is MD for Emsi UK overseeing a growing and dynamic team. He has experience as a market intelligence professional with particular expertise in labour market and demographic analysis within the further and higher education sectors. Andy graduated from the University of Southampton with a BSc in population sciences, demographic research and analysis techniques. He lives with his wife and three sons in Basingstoke.
Our system of technical education is not working for employers or for learners. We have a system that is difficult to navigate and qualifications that do not train people in the skills that employers are looking for.
We have teamed up with City & Guilds to produce a report looking into the issue of current and projected skills gaps in the UK. The report – People Power: Does the UK economy have the skilled people it needs for the future? – combines a survey of more than 1,000 C-Suite employers in the UK, with data and analysis of the British economy, to raise a number of important issues about skills challenges facing employers and how they can be tackled.
The Government’s new Education and Employment Strategy, presents a vision of prison education which, it is hoped, will reduce reoffending rates and also help fix some of Britain’s long-term skills shortages.
With the Invitation to Tender for the Prison Education Framework (PEF) now out, education and training providers will be seeking to ensure that their bid not only ticks all the boxes that the assessors are looking for, but that it also goes above and beyond this to stand out from those bids submitted by their competitors.
With OLASS 5 set to kick off in Q1 of 2018, education and training providers involved in offender learning will shortly be looking to write their bids for the new contracts. The procurement process is expected to broadly follow the recommendations in the Government’s 2016 White Paper, Prison Safety and Reform, and so it is perhaps a good time to remind ourselves of what was contained in that report, relating to education and training.
Although the Government’s decision to delay introducing the first T-levels will have brought a something of a sigh of relief among many in the sector, with the decision only affecting the first two pathfinder routes, the stay of grace could be seen by providers not so much as a reason to put off implementing a T-Levels strategy, but rather as a welcome opportunity to make sure that they really are ready for them when they come in. After all, in planning terms, 2020 is still not that far away.
In just a few months from now, the Government will be launching its new welfare-to-work scheme, the Work and Health Programme. The scheme is intended to provide specialised employment support for both people with disabilities and the long-term unemployed, but the Government’s expectation is that the majority of those referred to the Programme will be those who are classed as disabled.
Since the beginning of the year, we’ve been doing a lot of work around T-Levels, much of which has focused on demonstrating how the routes can be mapped to local labour markets. Over the past few weeks we’ve been reaching out to colleges – both clients and non-clients – to test our ideas out and to find out how the sector is dealing with some of the challenges that T-Levels are presenting.
I wrote recently about the danger of careers information getting lost in the seemingly never ending changes being imposed upon colleges. In the conclusion to that piece, I said that the key to making sure careers information doesn’t fall off the radar lies in seeing it as an integral part of the overall college mission of “training people in the skills employers really need, to foster economic growth and sustainable employment.” In this piece I want to continue this theme, but this time looking at it from the angle of why it is crucial that young people are made more aware of what the skills needs of employers in their region actually are.
Every organisation that is faced with upheaval will have a tendency to get bogged down in dealing with the changes, so much so that they can end up losing sight of their overall mission. In my view, this is currently a very real danger that FE colleges face. With so much disruption coming in thick and fast – area reviews followed by apprenticeship reform followed by T Levels – the possibility of getting lost in the implementation of these sorts of reforms and forgetting the overarching reason for being there in the first place is easily done.
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