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FE Soundbite 737 – Are Early Leavers Partial Achievers?

holly gavin and Danny soundbite

Welcome to FE Soundbite Edition 737, March 15th, 2024: Are Early Leavers Partial Achievers?

This is the weekly e-newsletter and e-journal by FE News: ISSN 2732-4095. We know life is busy, so here is a snapshot of the latest announcements and epic thought leadership articles, from sector influencers and cool thinkers across FE and Skills this week on FE News

Gavin’s Reflective Perspective

Wow, what a cool bunch of thought leadership articles this week. We chatted about this in the office just yesterday and I kept flicking in between my personal top 3 thought leadership pieces this week and in the end, I settled for Kerry Boffey’s article… and I really think rethinking Early Leavers as Partial Achievers is really interesting! I love Scott Parkin’s articles and I love this piece of insight on Canada and how employability is laying the groundwork for long-term economic resilience… a highly recommended read. I also really enjoyed Dennis Francis’ article on the Power of Anti-Racist Leadership. Something for everyone to grab a coffee and take some time out to read and reflect. Loved it!

I also recommend checking out the sector reaction to the latest ONS figures… particularly as the ONS found that youth inactivity is at its highest on record! I mean, that is a shocker! We as a sector need to unite to sort this out.

In a time of incredibly high number of vacancies and in the midst of the fourth industrial revolution… we have the highest numbers on record of our future workforce inactive, surely this should send off major league alarm bells for everyone to sort out? Surely this highlights the need to create more incentives for employers, particularly small employers or emerging markets to incentivise employers to give young people a chance and a job.. surely to mix it up a bit and bring back the incentives for employers to take on more Entry level Apprenticeships?

Something needs to be done to sort this out ASAP!


Firstly, Rethinking “Early Leavers” as “Partial Achievers” – By Kerry Boffey, Fellowship of Inspection Nominees she argues for a nuanced approach to assessing achievement, celebrating both full and partial successes in apprenticeships.

Secondly, Charting the Future – Canada’s Economy and the Role of Employability Services in Job Market Transformation – By Scott Parkin FIEP, Group Chief Executive, Institute of Employability Professionals (IEP) he examines Canada’s economic challenges, rising unemployment, and the critical role of employability services in tackling these issues.

Thirdly, The Power of Anti-Racist LeadershipBy Dennis Francis, Lead Trainer, Black Leadership Group he emphasises the crucial role of leadership in creating an anti-racist culture.

Bridging the Gap: Integrating AI into Education for a Brighter FutureBy Gregor Müller, COO and co-founder of leading education platform and tutoring provider, GoStudent

Why Human Capital Leaders Must be “Accountability Partners” in the AI Transformation – By Sharmla Chetty, CEO of Duke Corporate Education

Unlocking Opportunities: The Path to Diversity and Representation in STEM through Further Education and Career Advancement – By Tara McGeehan, President CGI UK and Australia

A new Gener-AI-tion in further education – By Noel Loughrin, Strategic Solutions Manager at Laserfiche

Universities failing to make the grade on net zero – By Christophe Williams, CEO of Naked Energy

‘No-one left behind’ – Scottish Minister for FE speaks at FAB Parliamentary Reception at Holyrood – by Luise Ruddick, Policy Officer at Federation of Awarding Bodies (FAB)


Thought leadership

Driving Forward-Thinking Research for a Sustainable FE and Skills Sector – By Dr Vikki Smith, Executive Director of Education & Standards at the Education and Training Foundation

The Future of EdTech: Encouraging Young People to Think Creatively From Schools to Their Careers – By Nick Birch, head of education licensing at Serif, developers of the Affinity creative software.

The Case for Conversational AI in Education & Employability Programs – By Boris Bambo, CTO at Earlybird

The Career Passport: Will Everyone Want to Be Like Gary Neville? – By Neil Wolstenholme, Chairman of Kloodle

Creating a menopause-friendly workplaceBy Mark Solomons, founder and CEO Welbee

Reports and research

On Tuesday the Science Secretary announced a £1 billion package to create 65 Centres for Doctoral Training in AI and Quantum. This will train more than 4,000 students to become pioneers in AI and quantum to help grow the economy

On Tuesday ONS announced the March 2024 Labour Market statistics, it was found that Youth inactivity is at its highest on record. Make sure to check out the Sector Response here

On Thursday The Office for Students (OfS) launched a call for evidence for views on how it uses its powers to distribute funding to universities and colleges in England.

Videos and podcasts

This week we had three reflections from the NCFE 175th celebrations and episode 2 of Richard Foster Fletcher’s AI and The Classroom of Tomorrow Podcast Series. Check out the NCFE 17th interviews down below:

NCFE at 175: Tim Campbell MBE explains the role of education and skills for employers of all sizes

NCFE at 175: Deborah Jenkins MBE discusses the importance of being agile in a fast-moving world

NCFE at 175: David Gallagher reflects on the changing skills landscape and what the future holds for learners

In the Know

In the know

Next week we have Neurodiversity Celebration Week!

So watch out for cool articles from the likes of:

  • Amanda Kirby
  • Luise Ruddick
  • Nathan Whitbread

By Gavin O’Meara, CEO and Founder of FE News and FE Careers

By Danny O’Meara, Junior Digital Project Manager, FE News

By Holly Wheaton, Platform Growth Manager, FE News

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