The much-awaited White Paper skills-for-jobs-lifelong-learning-for-opportunity-and-growthDownload has been published this week. It's a long and tedious read, but here's an initial response. Rather than just summarising the contents, it seeks to provide some context. Almost every serious analysis of changes in the occupational structure at the start of the 21st century recognises an increased polarisation of … Continue reading Williamson’s White Paper: ‘Skills Without Jobs’?
With the economy experiencing a huge downturn, attention has focussed on likely loss of jobs in the hospitality and retail sectors, many of which are considered ‘low skilled’ (as well as disproportionately performed by young people). But according to the OECD’s Employment Outlook for 2020, In the United Kingdom, new online job postings for middle-skill … Continue reading Stuck in the middle with Williamson
What's happened to University Technology Colleges - the 14-19 schools created by one time Secretary of State Kenneth (now Lord) Baker? Citing ‘academic snobbery’ for the failure to establish proper technical education in this country, which he argues has caused skill shortages and contributed to further industrial decline, Baker has established 60 UTCs with employer … Continue reading UTCs. Another expensive failure?
New ONS data shows a third of graduates with more education that is required for the work they were doing 2017. This shouldn’t surprise anybody. Many other studies have reached similar conclusions. What is significant is that rather than focusing on those that have left university in the last few months (many of whom will … Continue reading Can you ever be ‘overeducated’?
Labour has published its national policy forum response on education. There's a great deal to be welcomed, but for some areas, most notably post-16 and Further Education, proposals are largely absent and where they are addressed, are scant and uniformed. See the following quote on vocational and technical education for example: ‘ The Open University … Continue reading Labour, vocational education and skills
Discussion continues about the employment implications of Artificial Intelligence and robotics. If there is an emerging consensus, then it’s that there will be continued automation of ‘routine’ work –particularly clerical, administrative and secretarial jobs in offices/banks for example, but that ‘non-routine’ and ‘personalised’ jobs, that are more difficult and more expensive to automate will likely … Continue reading Education and the digital age
Today’s ONS Labour Market Bulletin, provides further data about the changing relationship between young people, education and employment. Even if it’s still much higher than for other age groups, youth unemployment continues to fall. For July to September 2017, joblessness for 16 to 24 year olds was 11.9% ( down from 13.1% a year earlier … Continue reading Education without jobs
Chancellor Philip Hammond’s ‘Brexit budget’ has confirmed the UK government is to go ahead - and spend £500 million on the new ‘college based’ technical education pathway - now to be referred to as T-levels. Based on proposals in last summer’s Sainsbury Review and the Cameron government’s Post-16 Plan, … Continue reading T-levels get the go ahead
The DfE and BIS published the long awaited post-16_skills_plan in the summer of 2016. Based on recommendations from the Sainsbury Review, its main proposal was a new ‘technical route’ with qualifications available from Level 3 and above and with parallel status to the academic pathway. Now included in Theresa May's industrial-strategy … Continue reading More on the Skills Plan
Technical and vocation education would appear to be one of the main beneficiaries of Theresa May’s new ‘industrial strategy’. May has announced £170m of additional funding for institutes of technology (we assume this will involve an upgrading of existing FE provision on a regional basis) While several high-tech sectors have been identified, the government will … Continue reading A new technical route?