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Have you heard about the ‘Off the Job’ and Level 3 Defunding changes? FE Soundbite Edition 746

Gavin O'Meara, FE News mugshot

Welcome to FE Soundbite Edition 746, 18th May 2024: Have you heard about the ‘Off the Job’ and Level 3 changes?

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

What a big load of announcements this week. I mean, big ole changes… where to start?

The Level 3 defunding is a big one! Skills Minister Luke Hall announces De-funding of 318 Level 3 qualifications. Here is the sector reaction. Luke Hall also announced 74 new Alternative Academic Qualifications (AAQs) and Technical Qualifications (TQs) for public funding at level 3 starting from 1 August 2025. Yep a year and a bit away.

The jist from the sector stake holders is.. erm bad idea Luke, and if you do persist… give us more time…. or what happens if there is a change in Gov in the upcoming election? A lot of ifs… buts and not much BTEC in this statement. What do you think about all of it? Here is Luke’s statement in full if you want to look over in detail.

Been a busy one… as literally the day before there was the ‘Off the Job’ training changes for Apprenticeships. If you don’t know about this… well here is a break down and well done to AELP for campaigning for this long term.

We also had two interesting reports launched on the same day by EDSK and R2L (on the same day as the Level 3 defunding reforms were announced). Can you pick up the theme?… all change! Or change is coming.

EDSK launched the Evolution and revolution report recommending SATs and GCSEs should be scrapped in favour of regular online tests from ages 5-14 along with a new four-year ‘Baccalaureate’ for 14 to 18-year-olds

R2L launched the Future Priorities for Lifelong Learning, Skills and Tertiary Education report. Cool quote from that Cool Cat Lord Blunkett in here as well (just in case you are of the opinion that Labour might win the next election, this could be worth a read).

Jisc launched an interesting report: Students want to see generative AI integrated throughout curriculum, despite increased concerns around ethics and equity.

The latest ONS labour market figures came out… we are out of recession, but these figures are still pretty startling: UK Claimant Count at 1.579 Million and Economic inactivity at 22.1%. Sector Reaction. Wow, no wonder there are all these people wanting to mix things up!

….and let’s not forget the Sector Reaction to the MAC Rapid Review of the Graduate Route which backed up the Government’s International Education Strategy, particularly in Higher Education. You may have missed this one, but it is very important for the UK economy and all of Higher Education. Worth a read!

This week was Mental Health Awareness Week and AoC released a really interesting report: Poor mental health is the top reason for student absence, say colleges.. as well as the cost of living crisis!

Told you it was a full on week!

Exclusive thought leadership articles this week:

This week was Mental Health Awareness Week… so let’s kick off with Scott Parkin’s cool article: Mental Health and Well-being in Remote Work Environments.

Sarwar Khawaja’s article was well received on social media: Building Bridges: Strengthening Relationships between Higher Education Institutions and Local Communities.

Gregor Müller shares some insights from some recent major AI developments at GoStudent: Balancing Innovation with Human Touch: Lessons from Building AI Learning. Continuing the theme about knowledge share on AI and AI best practice, Julian Mulhare wrote about the Future of work: key skills for businesses to optimise AI integration

Dame Julie Mellor from FISSS wrote a cool article: Navigating the future: a collaborative approach to meeting the UK skills challenge

Sorry to hear of the passing of David Price

I was really sad to hear that David Price passed away. Anyone who met him, will only tell you positive things, I had the privilege to meet him a couple of times. He was a genius, down to earth and funny. Here is a link to a video, podcast and article from David on the day he launched the Power of Us. Such a shame, such a genius.

I off to the OneFile Conference next week… loved it last year. So if you are around… say hi!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy FE Soundbite this week.

Gavin O’Meara

CEO and Founder

FE News and FE Careers (a new FE Careers job site is coming very soon)!

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