Becci Newton, Institute for Employment Studies

In a speech today (29 Sept) Prime Minister @BorisJohnson set out his plans for a "Lifetime Skills Guarantee" to the transform the training and skills system and prepare workers for a post-Covid economy, making it fit for the 21st century economy, and helping the country build back better.

Adults without an A-Level or equivalent qualification will be offered a free, fully-funded college course - providing them with skills valued by employers, and the opportunity to study at a time and location that suits them.

Responding, Becci Newton, Deputy Director, Public Policy ResearchInstitute for Employment Studies, said:

"A skills based response in this recession is something I strongly support and using / extending the existing policy framework to provide training options for those with low skills is incredibly important. There are some questions about whether a single Level 3 is enough for the most vulnerable – as people and employers need a rounded set of skills.

"A substantial Level 3 programme is likely to be most supportive of needs on both sides however, to reach a judgement we need to understand the qualifications that will be funded and how these add value. There is a risk here given the restructuring of vocational qualifications in recent years. There is also a question about the funding level and whether it will be enough to attract people to training.

"And people who have already been working may prefer some shorter schemes that support sector-transfer such as sector-based work academies or at least a system that accredits their prior learning and experiential learning rather than taking them back to the start. The 13 week provision is welcome, but branding it a bootcamp could be unhelpful. We have some existing models from the national retraining scheme that we should consider."


#Post16RevolutionaryReforms - Assisting 16-24 Year Olds without a Level 3

Given the impacts of Covid-19 on young people, their education, and employment, the post-16 white paper has some heavy lifting to do.

It was to presage the development of new technical Level 4 and 5 qualifications.

However, it now feels urgent that it drives forward a skills-centred recovery and supports preventative measures against youth scarring.

It is time to be ambitious: investment in skills can be returned through improved productivity and importantly, a healthier, more inclusive society

Rising Participation by 16-18 Year olds

We are seeing continued high participation as young people make the post-16 transition. The latest estimates show that 16-18 participation is at a record high (81.6%).

Supporting this is the funding arrangement: up to the age of 19, education and training costs are fully-funded and households can continue to receive child benefit and universal credit for 16-19 year olds in full-time further education.

Too Many 19 Year Olds do not have a Level 3 or a Level 2

However, we also need this funding to result in improved levels of attainment. In 2019, only 59.7% of young people attained Level 3 by 19, and while by the same age, 83.4% had achieved Level 2 – the level expected following compulsory schooling - this means some 16.6% still had not.

While achievement of GCSE maths and English has risen by age 19, many young people leave the 16-19 phase with low skills.

Too Few Gain Level 3 or Level 2 by age 25

Between age 19 and 25, the proportion with at least a Level 3 rises from 60% to 66% and the proportion with at least a Level 2 rises from 83% to 89%.

This means a third of 25 year olds do not have a Level 3 and more than a tenth do not have a Level 2.

The Needs of NEETs

The needs of those who get lost in transition also require consideration; being NEET at 16, with low qualifications, increases risks of being NEET at 17 and of becoming long- term unemployed/inactive from 18.

However, it can take time for young people to realise that their low qualifications are a drag on obtaining good quality employment.

Plan for Jobs

Skills are emphasised within the employment policy response to the Covid-19 recession. Under the Plan for Jobs, the government is offering financial incentives to employers to create apprenticeships (£2,000), traineeships (£1,000) and six-month Kickstart jobs (no qualification component; average £6,500 per job).

Young people aged 18-19 can continue in full-time learning for an extra year. But whether employer incentives will be sufficient to drive forward on the longstanding skills agenda remains in question. Employers have supported less off-the-job and more short-duration training over many years, and the jobs they offer young people have become increasingly precarious.

The £2,000 incentive for apprenticeships sits alongside low expectations for employers’ contribution to training costs, minimum wage rates and incentives to recruit younger age groups and those with higher needs. These have not halted the declining trend in apprenticeship vacancies for the young. We need a mechanism to influence employer behaviour; to help them to offer good quality jobs that progress young people’s skills.

More Support for Young People in the Post-16 White Paper

We need, however, more support and funding, financial support and improvements to guidance and provision can improve outcomes for low-skilled young people during the transition to full labour market participation and before outcomes become fixed.

In 2020, making full-time further education a more attractive option to vulnerable groups by providing targeted financial support alongside courses with a clear relationship to the labour market provides a way forward

The skills funding framework has a measure to support full-time learning for low- skilled young people who may not get the apprenticeships that are created. It must also be noted that these training options are not suitable for some young parents and carers, who need to work part-time, or to cover care costs. Up to the age of 23, full funding for a first Level 3 qualification is available.

Nevertheless, whether 18-19 or older, the ability to continue in full-time education is contingent upon household finances. If young people are claiming benefits (which could amount to £200 per week) these would be at risk if they enter full-time education.

Full-Time Learning v Labour Market Participation

Thinking about the arguments for and against full-time further education rather  than labour market participation, while active labour market programme evidence demonstrates full-time learning can create lock-in effects, for vulnerable groups, there is a case for supporting it. If such full-time education provision encompasses substantial work-related learning, negative effects can be countered.

The national-level economic and social returns that would be achieved from qualifying to a higher level provide the rationale for an education maintenance support package, alongside ensuring young people can access high-quality vocational/technical provision with value in the labour market.

Three Reforms for the White Paper

  1. First, the post-16 white paper should announce the introduction of an FE learner maintenance scheme targeted at vulnerable groups aged 16-24 to enable participation in full-time education, traineeships and apprenticeships.
  2. Second, the white paper should introduce an employer brokerage system to enable employers to access advice to select the best of the ‘Plan for Jobs’ youth options for their business which also maximises training opportunities for young people.
  3. And third, the white paper should announce the type of Level 3 and below qualifications eligible for public funding, with a suite of high-quality technical/vocational qualifications at Level 2 and Level 3 suitable for young adults (19-24), with flexibility for movement between training modes and full and part-time study.

Becci Newton, Institute for Employment Studies

'Revolutionary Forces'

In the immediate aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is easy to forget that there were wider revolutionary forces at work on the UK’s economy before the virus outbreak.

Issues such as Brexit, the rise of automation in the workplace, longer working lives, and poor UK productivity have brought into even sharper focus, education and skills. NCFE and Campaign for Learning (CfL), published the first in the series of ‘Revolutionary Forces’ discussion papers on 6 July 2020.

In this Revolutionary Forces series different perspectives and proposed reforms for the post-16 education and training system have been brought together in one pamphlet, from expert stakeholders, think-tanks and educational professionals.

Building on the recommendations outlined in the first paper for flexible reforms that support economic and social renewal, this new paper, "Reforms for a Revolutionary Post-16 White Paper", takes a deeper look at which areas need to be addressed.

The authors are:

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

PwC CPD Webinar: Social Mobility

PwC CPD Webinar: Social Mobility

NGWLive: Aldi Graduate Hints & Tips

NGWLive: Aldi Graduate Hints & Tips

Jo Moriani added a new event 1 hour

Protecting your psychological health and wellbeing from...

Overview This webinar will discuss the following: • Why and how amid and in the pandemic recovery phase supporting students to be able to stay on...

  • Wednesday, 04 November 2020 10:00 AM
  • Online

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 May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 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.

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.

Podcasts

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.

Events

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