From education to employment

One of the High Achievers in FE Speaks about Progress and Leading the Way

Part of the mission of the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) across the nation is to ensure the successful development of skills in the community and in the workplace.

Responsible for a budget of more than £10 billion per year for the Further Education sector, the LSC is intended to work at the local, regional and national level interacting with organisations and institutions to bring learning to a broader range of people than before. With the Foster Review recommending that the FE sector should be the engine room for driving the skills for work agenda, and the Leitch Review seemingly set to echo these sentiments, it is important to note the success stories in vocational education; and Sara Pullen from Preston is one example of this success.


Sara was recently awarded the Young Woman Engineer of the Year Award, and was understandably delighted at the accolade. She trained and completed an Apprenticeship at BAE Systems, and is now both a successful Crew Systems Engineer and an ambassador for female engineers in a male-dominated environment.

Speaking of her achievement, Sara said: “I am immensely proud to receive such a prestigious award and I am looking forward to helping promote engineering for young women. These programmes are our country’s future; if we keep training up specialists in areas such as engineering we can ensure that the UK will continue to have the skills-base to compete in a competitive global market.”

Steve Palmer is the executive director of the LSC in Lancashire, and added: “Sara is a wonderful example of the increasing number of young women who are discovering that the Apprenticeship route is an exciting way to gain qualifications on the job. For many, like Sara, it is also the perfect alternative to college as a route to university.”

Stories such as this are of vital importance as FE as a whole seeks to shake of the “Cinderella sector” tag and be recognised as the vital cog in the nation’s society and economy that it is.

Jethro Marsh

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