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The latest Exclusive Featured articles written by our FE expert writers

Rob May, CEO at the Association of Business Executives

A Skills Solution that is Made in China?

Sep 22, 2017 / Featured Article

For over a year the sector has been entrenched in unpuzzling an ambitious slate of reforms. With unnerving haste, the UK government is delivering an untested Post-16 education model which...

Jim Carley, Managing Director, Carley Consult Ltd

Is it Wrong to Give Learndirect Special …

Sep 21, 2017 / Featured Article

Much has been said about Learndirect’s infamous Grade 4 inspection, and the train of events which led to it. It’s not for me to comment on the inner workings of...

Dr Paul Phillips CBE, Principal and Chief Executive of Weston College

September Is Here Again

Sep 20, 2017 / Featured Article

September is here again and already the College environment is manic as students of all ages descend upon us – some aged 16 and straight from school or academy, others...

Louise Doyle, Director, MESMA

IMPROVEMENT PLANNING: GET IT WRITE

Sep 19, 2017 / Featured Article

IMPROVING quality is a critical step on the (seemingly endless) road to nirvana for FE college leaders, says Louise Doyle, director at quality assurance specialists Mesma, who considers how to...

Matt Atkinson is Joint Managing Director of FE Associates

MERGER MISHAPS

Sep 18, 2017 / Featured Article

The 1st of August 2017 was a momentous day for the college sector due to the number of mergers that took place. As well as those mergers that have taken...

Professor Sa'ad Sam Medhat, CEO, STEM Foundation

STEM Supply is Intermittent and of Varyi…

Sep 15, 2017 / Featured Article

The convergence of technological innovations is changing the conventional wisdom as we know it. New and emerging technologies such as Autonomy, the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Data Visualization, Augmented...

The Nation's Largest College Brought to …

Sep 14, 2017 / Featured Article

The largest college in the country is boarded up and has closed its doors. A few days ago, a college I last visited less than a year ago, closed its doors...

Angela Hughes, HR Director at Insight UK

Why the future of skills is more than di…

Sep 14, 2017 / Featured Article

Last month, former GCHQ head, Robert Hannigan, made the claim that parents should be encouraging their children to spend more time online in order to “save the country,” as the...

Jim Carley reflects on the Non Levy Bidding

Non-Levy Bidding: What did we Learn?

Sep 13, 2017 / Featured Article

As Hurricane Irma has finally begun to subside, the storm of ESFA non-levy bidding has also dissipated, at least for now. Like the previous non-levy procurement, abandoned earlier in the...

Amanda Montague, In Future ltd

Future proofing - a virtual training te…

Sep 13, 2017 / Featured Article

Recently I commented on a post about the current state of the Apprenticeships and skills contracts, it has been a difficult year for many providers in respect of tenders put...

Stefan Drew

How Well Does FE Communicate With Studen…

Sep 12, 2017 / Featured Article

FE excels at communications. It’s an imperative in education. If we can’t communicate, we can’t teach. Teaching demands good communications; it is how we impart knowledge and get students to...

Jake Tween, Head of Apprenticeships, ILM

Overcoming the apprenticeships stigma – …

Sep 11, 2017 / Featured Article

Despite being one of the most accessible and efficient ways to upskill talent, dismissive attitudes towards apprenticeships are still rife in the UK. Deeply ingrained associations with trade, low wages...

Gareth Evans, WorldSkills UK Expert for Carpentry and Centre Co-ordinator at Construction Wales Innovation Centre

More than just a competition: WorldSkil…

Sep 08, 2017 / Featured Article

The skills shortages facing construction firms in the UK has been well documented in recent times, with the issue being cited as one of the main barriers to the industry’s...

Tom Bewick, President of TAEF and co-founder of Franklin Apprenticeships LLC

Going Stateside

Sep 06, 2017 / Featured Article

America aims to create 5 million additional apprenticeships by 2022 and it is looking to UK providers for help With U.S. job vacancies at the highest level in over a decade...

Andy Durman, Managing Director Emsi UK

T-Levels and Student Engagement: a Win-W…

Sep 05, 2017 / Featured Article

Although the Government’s decision to delay introducing the first T-levels will have brought a something of a sigh of relief among many in the sector, with the decision only affecting...

Dr Coorous Mohtadi, Senior Academic Technical Specialist, MathWorks

How to improve the quality AND quantity …

Sep 04, 2017 / Featured Article

This year, STEM professionals were looking forward to the news of an increase in the number of A-Level students who had succeeded in passing their exams in STEM subjects. However...

Dave Jeffries, MIS manager at training provider, System Group

GDPR: Gearing up for change?

Sep 01, 2017 / Featured Article

THE General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which gets its first airing in Parliament this month, will signal a step-change in the way the transport and logistics sector looks after data...

Marcus Hutchings, Skills Academy Manager at AWE

Challenging stereotypes around the defen…

Aug 30, 2017 / Featured Article

With a long history of apprenticeships, spanning over half a century, AWE has witnessed the many individual and organisational advantages that apprenticeships can bring. With impetus from the new apprenticeship...

Massimo Merlo, VP of EMEA Enterprise and Regional VP of UK&I at Veeam

STEM subjects are key to cementing our d…

Aug 29, 2017 / Featured Article

August in the UK is typically a busy month; school holidays are in full swing, the English Premier League is back and A-Level results are released. Just like the many...

Stefan Drew

Lessons from Supermarkets: The Real Key …

Aug 25, 2017 / Featured Article

Like me you probably understand that recruitment is a complex issue. You need the right courses, market them effectively and undertake extensive interview and induction processes to get those bums...

Mike Thompson, Head of Apprenticeships at Barclays

Ageing workforce; enabling the older gen…

Aug 24, 2017 / Featured Article

Apprenticeships provide many opportunities for people to work, however there is one group that, despite their skillset and knowledge, struggle to find a viable route to employment. The older generation...

Tony Allen, CEO, Allen Apprenticeships and Skills

Why are ESFA keeping a low profile over …

Aug 23, 2017 / Featured Article

So, Learndirect have failed in their attempt to avoid ‘justice’, and now what many of us have known for some time is out in the public domain: their provision is...

David Corke, Director of Education and Skills Policy, Association of Colleges

Teaching for the future

Aug 23, 2017 / Featured Article

Colleges and other training providers are responsible for teaching and training the workforce of the future – whether its young people starting on the career ladder, or adults who are...

Dr Maren Deepwell, Chief Executive of the Association for Learning Technology

Digital Skills development in the workfo…

Aug 22, 2017 / Featured Article

As chief executive of ALT one of the questions I think about most is how we work in learning, teaching and assessment, what skills we need to do our jobs...

Jack Parsons, CEO, yourfeed

Understanding tomorrow’s talent

Aug 21, 2017 / Featured Article

Whilst both a degree and an apprenticeship can offer great opportunities, millennials are faced with a tough decision. Do they go straight into full-time work? Apply for (often unpaid) internships...

Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE, Director, DMH & Associates Ltd

We are letting Britain's young people do…

Aug 16, 2017 / Featured Article

Informal encounters and random acts of kindness from employers, mentors and volunteers alone will not solve much needed careers guidance for Britain’s young people At exam results time there is always...

Kelle McQuade, Lead Business Development Manager, TQUK

Assessors Face Unique Challenges Adjusti…

Aug 16, 2017 / Featured Article

I don’t know about you, but I could use a vacation. Maybe Antarctica. You know, a placid landscape where things, more or less, stay the same from one week to...

Lesley Davies OBE, Principal/CEO at Trafford College and Greater Manchester Apprenticeship Company representative

A Lesson in Collaboration

Aug 15, 2017 / Featured Article

Over the next few weeks, thousands of young people will be considering their next steps as they prepare to receive their exam results. The 17th and 24th August will be daunting days for many...

Dr Dawn Morley, Lecturer in Higher Education, University of Surrey

Is apprenticeship learning a thing of th…

Aug 15, 2017 / Featured Article

For centuries traditional apprenticeship models have existed to hand down skills and experience to the next generation. The master worked closely with the apprentice coaching, role modelling and even reprimanding...

Sue Husband, Director of the National Apprenticeship Service

Apprentices at Exam Results Time

Aug 14, 2017 / Featured Article

As the arrival of exam results days loom – Thursday 17th August for A Levels and Thursday 24th August for GCSEs – thousands of young people will be receiving their...

Stefan Drew

What’s Your Room Occupancy Rate THIS Wee…

Aug 14, 2017 / Featured Article

NHS Internal Auditors led by Prof Tim Briggs recently said the NHS needs to put its house in order before asking for more cash, Prof Briggs says the NHS spends...

The unintended impact our brain has on o…

Aug 10, 2017 / Featured Article

The brain is a pretty amazing organ, it does so many wonderful things, what’s not to love about it? It helps us make decisions, it controls our emotions, I mean...

Phillip Speed, Education Finance Specialist, Nucleus Commercial Finance

Apprenticeship Levy: unanswered question…

Aug 09, 2017 / Featured Article

The Apprenticeship Levy has brought major change for employers and training providers alike – but it seems to be the SMEs (as is often the way) that are feeling the...

Tim Chewter, Head of Research & Communications, the Strategic Development Network (SDN)

I want to become an end-point assessor –…

Aug 08, 2017 / Featured Article

I want to become an end-point assessor – where do I start? Apprenticeship end-point assessment is new. New assessment plans continue to be published and new Apprentice Assessment Organisations (AAO) are...

AELP's Mark Dawe discusses the Non-Levy Apprenticeship ITT

We mustn’t restrict employer choice with…

Aug 07, 2017 / Featured Article

The new invitation to tender (ITT) for non-levy apprenticeship allocations is a major improvement on last year’s procurement exercise with one significant caveat.  It is really fantastic that the new...

Fleur Sexton, joint managing director, PET-Xi

The opportunity of apprenticeships must …

Aug 07, 2017 / Featured Article

Among the five million plus teenagers who will receive their GCSE results this month, far too many disadvantaged young people will not get a decent pass in English and Maths...

Jake Tween, Funding and Apprenticeships Manager, ILM

Getting to grips with off-the-job traini…

Aug 04, 2017 / Featured Article

Jake Tween, Funding and Apprenticeships Manager at ILM, comments on the challenge presented by the 20% rule It’s hard to believe it’s been almost four months since the new apprenticeship...

Ruth South, Head of Graduate and Apprenticeship Programmes, Capgemini

Apprenticeships help unlock tomorrow’s t…

Aug 03, 2017 / Featured Article

Youth unemployment is a persistent problem in the UK. There are clear areas of skills gaps, particularly in the technology industry due to its pace, where qualifications being gained by...

Paul Broadhead, Head of Community & Education Outreach, Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce: How can employers diversify…

Jul 31, 2017 / Featured Article

For over a century, apprenticeships have played an important role in developing Rolls-Royce’s reputation for creativity and excellence. For us, diversity is essential to maintaining our world class offer, and...

Jane Hyde-Walsh, Founder and Director of the Staffroom

Is it time to change our approach toward…

Jul 27, 2017 / Featured Article

In the ever changing world of FE and work based learning and as the role of the assessor changes significantly in the current climate of apprenticeship reforms and delivery of...

Rosie Gloster, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Employment Studies

What can training providers do to increa…

Jul 25, 2017 / Featured Article

Using behavioural insights to examine benefit claimants' approaches to training opportunities New research has identified the key influences on whether benefit claimants attend training, including the effect of being ordered to...

Richard Marsh, Director of Apprenticeship Partnerships, Kaplan Financial

The evolving art of setting apprenticesh…

Jul 24, 2017 / Featured Article

For a change we have been an employer this week – buying in Degree Apprenticeship training for the shiny new Apprentices that we have hired. As you would expect one of...

Peter Cobrin, independent commentator and practitioner in the education and training sector

The Murky Side of Clearing

Jul 21, 2017 / Featured Article

Five years ago, I wrote an article on the perils of clearing that began like this: “On August 15 an 18-year-old near you will take a leap in the dark.”...

Tom Symonds, CEO, Immerse

How can VR reduce the cost of learning i…

Jul 20, 2017 / Featured Article

For those involved in the provision and consumption of further education, there are several challenges to overcome. Available finance is often limited on both the side of the education provider...

Louise Doyle, Director, MESMA

FIVE STEPS TO (SELF-ASSESSMENT) HEAVEN

Jul 19, 2017 / Featured Article

AS the FE and wider skills landscape shifts, an effective self-assessment and the improvement plan that shakes out from this, is a key Ofsted expectation, says Louise Doyle, a further...

Audrey Bodman, Outshine

Make the first call count – use these TW…

Jul 18, 2017 / Featured Article

The sectors I work with use the phone to contact employers to identify training and job opportunities for their customer base. Many people share with me their concerns about the market...

David Cormack, Strategic Account Director at System Group

DRIVING APPRENTICESHIPS: A QUESTION OF I…

Jul 17, 2017 / Featured Article

APPRENTICESHIPS will be an even more relevant and plausible path to career success in the transport and logistics sector as the Apprenticeship Levy unfolds, says David Cormack, strategic account director...

Alice Barnard, Chief Executive of Edge

EBacc belongs in the past, not post-Brex…

Jul 17, 2017 / Featured Article

As any charity Chief Exec will tell you, a large part of the job is looking ahead and planning. Budgets, investments, campaigns, events, staffing – there is a calendar, a...

Martin Doel, FETL Professor of Leadership in FE and Skills, University College London, Institute of Education

Adult Education – Has its time come agai…

Jul 12, 2017 / Featured Article

One of my greatest regrets whilst Chief Executive at the Association of Colleges was in our failure, with partners, to arrest the decline of adult education funding. Adult education proved...

Alice Barnard, Chief Executive of Edge

Scrapping GCSEs at 16 isn't headline new…

Jul 11, 2017 / Featured Article

Last week, headlines ran ‘Corbyn and Greening clash on skills gap’ after Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and Education Secretary, Justine Greening, each addressed the British Chambers of Commerce on...

Ben Sweetman, Business Development Director at QA

Putting the tech into technical educati…

Jul 10, 2017 / Featured Article

With the Conservatives using their recent election manifesto to reaffirm their pledge to create three million more apprenticeships for young people by 2020, the role of the education sector in...

Deborah McVey, Managing Director, Deborah McVey Ltd

Learning walks: What have they become?

Jul 07, 2017 / Featured Article

Learning walks are full of potential to support awareness of the quality of learners’ experiences, provide opportunities for reflection, and get teams excitedly making the improvements they seek. Yes, full...

Stefan Drew

How AI & Chatbots Are Changing Educa…

Jul 05, 2017 / Featured Article

 Is the FHE teaching capability and capacity improving as fast as it should? Some of our knowledge about teaching and learning go back to Greek times and still hold true. But...

Paul Warner, Director of Research and Development, AELP

Post 16 –Skills reforms – taking the tim…

Jul 03, 2017 / Featured Article

The technical and professional education reforms (variously known as the Sainsbury reforms or, more officially, the Post-16 Skills Plan) represent yet another huge shift for our sector. The noise from...

Fran Parry, MD, Bright Sparks

People regeneration is as important as p…

Jun 29, 2017 / Featured Article

As I write it is a year since the UK voted by a slim margin to leave the EU; the Conservative government has pledged £1b to the DUP to support...

Richard Marsh, Apprenticeship Partnership Director, Kaplan

A new minister has landed….

Jun 28, 2017 / Featured Article

‘I believe that employers are the future, teach them well and let them lead the way…’ Personally I think that it is a shame that we feel so rudderless when...

Jane Hyde-Walsh, Founder and Director of the Staffroom

ESFA release additional guidance about 2…

Jun 26, 2017 / Featured Article

The ESFA have today (26 June) published new guidance on the 20% off the job training rule for new apprenticeships as part of current reforms. The guidance for both employers...

Simon Kelleher, Head of Education and Skills at Policy Connect

With Westminster in political turmoil it…

Jun 26, 2017 / Featured Article

Listening to both Chancellor Philip Hammond’s somewhat gloomy Mansion House speech and the Queen’s Speech this week, we are reminded of the extent to which skills has risen-up the political...

Kevin Rowan, Unionlearn Director

Where apprentices go, unions are

Jun 26, 2017 / Featured Article

With the unionlearn Annual Conference this July focusing on Apprenticeships as its theme, unionlearn Director Kevin Rowan discusses the ways that unions are supporting high quality schemes in the workplace...

Alan Rae, © Here copyright consultancy

YouTube – friend or foe?

Jun 23, 2017 / Featured Article

At a recent CPD session with lecturers at a Scottish FE college, I asked a group of 16 staff, representing the curricular width of a large college, what they used...

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