Labour, vocational education and skills

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

Education and the digital age

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

Education without jobs

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

T-levels get the go ahead

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

More on the Skills Plan

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

A new technical route?

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?

Education’s ‘Great Reversal’

They used to  focus  on skills shortages, but now more labour market commentaries are emphasising the under- utilisation of skills and qualifications;  particularly in relation to the excess supply of graduates compared to the number of ‘graduate jobs’ available.  More recently still, concern has focussed on the extent of unpaid student debt  - the consequence … Continue reading Education’s ‘Great Reversal’

‘Twenty years of schoolin …’

Bob Dylan returned to media pages last week, with his Nobel Prize generating a flood of articles on the significance and influence of his music. Dylan’s scathing one-line condemnation of the American school system in the 1965 Subterranean Homesick Blues may have been a little premature, but it’s now becoming increasingly accepted, that if not … Continue reading ‘Twenty years of schoolin …’

Is there a skills crisis?  Do schools and colleges contribute to it?

  Despite performance levels in education being higher than ever, some continue to bang on about skills shortages and about young people not being ‘ready for work’. According to the British Chamber of Commerce for example, two-thirds of businesses believe that secondary schools are not effective in preparing young people for employment and could do … Continue reading Is there a skills crisis?  Do schools and colleges contribute to it?

Under-Grads, NEETs and the Apprenticeship Levy

The Certified Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) considered one the leading commentators on skill development and the labour market, has just published an extensive report about the  ‘mismatch’ between graduates and the work they do. CIPD estimates that 58% of graduates are now underemployed, doing work for which they are over qualified –even … Continue reading Under-Grads, NEETs and the Apprenticeship Levy