As Education ministers pull plug on vocational qualifications, what future for BTECs?

The government has announced a further pruning of vocational and technical education.  According to the DfE, there are some 12 000 different qualifications - many of which, it argues have few or no students.  In this respect the decision to cull  almost half of them, could as the Department claims, represent an attempt to bring … Continue reading As Education ministers pull plug on vocational qualifications, what future for BTECs?

Apprenticeship statistics – the good and the bad.

This week has been National Apprenticeship Week, with young people appearing on national media to promote the schemes.  There are clearly some very good ones. But January also saw  the release of new data on apprenticeship starts and apprentice profiles providing a very mixed picture. The  good After a difficult period since the introduction of the … Continue reading Apprenticeship statistics – the good and the bad.

Despite the raising of the leaving age, one in six 17-year olds are not in full-time education

Despite being a statutory requirement,  (even if LEAs and schools are without the resources, let alone the incentive to enforce it) latest figures show one in six 17-year olds, not in full-time education.  As an alternative, a young person can take up employment with training, in other words some kind of apprenticeship,   but  only 6% … Continue reading Despite the raising of the leaving age, one in six 17-year olds are not in full-time education

Manufacturing jobs are not coming back.

Labour has always been the party of manufacturing.  By the second half of the 20th century, factory workers had taken over from those working in ‘primary’ production  as  Labour’s main union base.  A need to rebuild manufacture is now, if speeches by  leadership candidates and trade union general secretaries  are anything to go by, seen … Continue reading Manufacturing jobs are not coming back.

The Forward March of Labour Halted (once again)

  Labour’s inability to defend its ‘red wall’ - working class constituencies in the North of England and parts of the Midlands has led to excruciating post-election media attention,  concentrating mainly on Jeremy Corbyn's leadership. But declining support among the traditional working class has been an issue for many years.  In response to Labour's 1979 … Continue reading The Forward March of Labour Halted (once again)

Income inequality and Labour’s mild tax reforms

Labour’s planned tax rises for those earning over £80 000 have attracted their fair share of controversy.  While these will  affect  comparatively few (around 5%),  some critics argue that Labour would have to impose wider increases in income tax to pay for its program. But as the graph below shows  opportunities appear  limited.  Levels of … Continue reading Income inequality and Labour’s mild tax reforms