Education policy and industrial strategy needs to be better aligned at a local level, the Chair of education charity the Edge Foundation will say today (12 Nov), at an event at Liverpool Town Hall to launch its latest report on skills shortages.
If you’ve seen the television advertisements exhorting us to Fire It Up, you would imagine UK plc is thriving with young apprentices, leaping out of bed at 6am, crackling with confidence and ambition. The £2.5million DfE campaign is designed to position apprenticeships as ‘cool’; the positive choice of the independently minded and entrepreneurial youngster who doesn’t follow the herd to uni, but electrifies the workplace with the blue lightning sparking off their shoulders.
Research into Project-based learning (PBL), involving long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with employers shows profound benefits for students says a report published today (19 Feb) by the education charity The Edge Foundation and the Royal Academy of Engineering.
The Evaluation of University Technical Colleges report, produced by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), evaluated PBL and employer engagement in two phases. In this second phase of its research, three leading University Technical Colleges (UTCs) in Liverpool, Reading and Aston were examined in depth to explore the benefits of embedding these concepts in the curriculum and gaining strong and committed employer engagement over a sustained time period.
Project-based learning is a key focus for UTCs and demonstrates a different way of learning, often via industry-relevant projects developed in collaboration with local employers, ensuring that students develop skills that can help them access pathways into employment.
The report highlighted that PBL, which requires students to work to briefs and deadlines and use skills such as critical thinking and problem solving, appears to enhance their academic learning in subjects like English or history as well as technical subjects.