Articles from City & Guilds

Value at every level: Post-16 review mustn’t look at #qualification levels and type in isolation

Department for Education’s review of Post-16 qualifications at level 3 and below Review of Post-16 qualifications at level 3 and below: Plans to stop funding qualifications not providing the same high-quality education as new #TLevels https://t.co/LpteLEayuy

City & Guilds opens temporary Functional Skills assessment centres

@cityandguilds Learners will be supported with discounted coach travel from @nationalexpress City & Guilds has opened temporary testing centres to enable learners to complete their Level 1 and Level 2 Functional Skills assessments and achieve their qualifications and apprenticeships.

Connecting the Dots: How digital credentials can bridge UK’s soft skills gap

In a few months, school leavers will be getting their GCSE and A Level results, turning thoughts towards their future careers. Will they continue studying? Or start an apprenticeship? Perhaps some will apply for their first entry-level jobs?

The proof that education really does pay

I was lucky enough to spend the day today with John. An ex-offender, John knew he wanted to turn his life around and was given the opportunity to study for a level 2 barbering qualification whilst in prison. He completed the course and on release managed to get a job in a salon. It was wonderful to see him back at our event after a year, with all the confidence that his new found skills and employment have given him.

A bad week for politics, a good week for prison reform

In a week dominated by the High Court Judgment on parliament’s role in Brexit and the American presidential election, you may have missed the fact that the Government announced an important and long-awaited step forward.

Rethinking skills development

Personally, I have always believed the success of an economy is based on the will and skill of individuals to be as productive as possible. The more productive we are, the more we can create, the higher quality it will be and the lower cost/price. This is what makes countries more competitive and compelling in a global economy.

Give regions greater power over skills and employment or risk ‘levelling down’ the chances of millions

Government urged by @cityandguilds report to give regions greater power over skills and employment or risk ‘levelling down’ the chances of millions  New report warns top down approach to recovery puts UK economy at risk and calls for increased devolution to address challenges that lie ahead

Learner Accounts are Back in Favour

The publication at the end of October of the latest UKCES report ‘Towards Ambition 2020: skills, jobs, growth’ was the latest of several recent indicators that learner accounts have been rehabilitated. It followed a more cautious endorsement in ‘Learning for Life’ - the report of the NIACE Inquiry into the Future for Lifelong Learning. Hot on the heels of the UKCES report was another report by Mark Corney for the CfBT Education Trust entitled ‘Funding Upskilling and Reskilling in the 21st Century – From Personal Pension Accounts to Person Skill Accounts’.Individual Learning Accounts (ILAs) were introduced by the Labour Government in the autumn of 2000. The objective behind them was to provide adult learners with the means and motivation to engage with the education system, to increase learner choice and to bring new providers into the marketplace. They were not intended to be a guarantee of the quality of a course, and therefore suffered from a lack of quality assurance. This enabled unscrupulous providers, or people posing as providers, to enter the market and exploit a poorly designed system. As evidence of widespread fraud came to light ILAs were hastily suspended in October 2001. But just because that system failed did not mean that learner accounts were a bad idea. If there had been a requirement that the funds made available could only be used for accredited courses at approved institutions ILAs would still be with us today, and it is a near certainty that there would have been hundreds of thousands more people who had engaged with some sort of worthwhile learning.However, once bitten, twice shy. Neither politicians nor civil servants wanted to be associated with a tainted policy, so several years have passed before the notion of Learner Accounts has been seriously considered again.I think City & Guilds can claim some credit for getting them back on the agenda. Eighteen months ago we published the first version of our ‘Manifesto for Skills’ in which we called for the establishment of a National Learning Bank that would enable learning accounts to be administered. The timing was a touch unfortunate as it coincided with the near meltdown of the banking system in the UK, and the consequent massive increase in debt that was largely caused by the rescue that was put in place. It soon became clear that we would need to recommend the gradual introduction of a national learner accounts system, which we called ‘Skill Accounts Plus’.Over time we spoke to a very large number of MPs (including ministers and opposition spokespeople) and their advisers, some members of the House of Lords, some researchers, and some opinion formers within the sector. Gradually our ideas took hold and they have culminated in what is now significant cross-party enthusiasm for some of what we recommended, albeit tinged with some very real doubts about whether such a radical shake-up is affordable right now.We need Skills Account Plus so that individuals can better engage in learning, but options must be personalised to suit personal needs and circumstances. The only way to build a truly personalised system of learning is to place funding and control of choices firmly in the hands of individuals and to equip them to make the choices that are right for them, within a framework established by government. Only then can we move towards a demand-led system of skills funding, where providers have to respond to the needs of individuals rather than vice-versa.That having been said, there would have to be some assurance for colleges and other bodies on the supply side that they can invest with confidence in developing learning programmes and associated resources that are to industry standard. Equally it would be necessary to protect some provision for strategic reasons and not rely solely on the market and consumer choice.Hand in hand with greater control goes greater responsibility. We need to encourage individuals and employers to see learning as an investment in the future – just as people save for retirement or aspire to own their own home. To help achieve this aim, a tripartite system of funding where individuals, employers and the government all make a contribution must be developed. This will create, for all stakeholders, a culture of responsibility for learning and ensure that all three groups will work towards a mutually beneficial outcome. To bring this about it will be necessary to devise some incentives for both individuals and employers. The accounts could be pump-primed using the money that is currently used for Child Trust Funds – money that is currently made available to young people when they reach their 18th birthdays with no strings attached. It is no longer tenable that this should happen – the money should be earmarked for personal development and learning. Individuals could also be incentivised by allowing interest to accrue to certain levels in their accounts without attracting tax. Employers could be similarly incentivised by enabling credits to be claimed against Corporation Tax for all money that was used to match individuals’ contributions to their learner accounts. Any money left unspent at the end of a working life could be transferred to individuals’ personal pension pots.To give individuals the maximum control over their learning choices, the system of Skills Accounts Plus should ultimately be extended to cover all post-compulsory education, including higher education. This would end the unfairness whereby those choosing to go on vocational courses are not given the same opportunities and access to financial support as those doing more traditional academic courses.Choices could be made from accredited providers, ensuring that these meet government priorities – although other courses could also be made available through the system on a case-by-case basis. Employers would naturally guide the options available and, when coupled with a comprehensive information, advice and guidance system, individuals would be able to choose learning options that would benefit both their careers and them personally. Without the ability for individuals to enjoy learning, there will always be a ‘learning deficit’ in the UK.It has to be said that not everyone now advocating learner accounts would sign up to the prescription I have outlined above. But it is nevertheless exciting and encouraging that so many people are now prepared to give reformed ILAs a chance.Andrew Sich is head of corporate affairs at City & Guilds, which helps two million learners work towards one of its qualifications every year

City & Guilds appoints Anthony Impey MBE as Chair of its Industry Skills Board

@CityandGuilds appoints Anthony Impey MBE (@Impmister) as Chair of its Industry Skills Board  Serial entrepreneur to lead influential board comprised of employers across a range of industries Business-led taskforce aims to collaborate with skills sector to support lifelong learning push  City & Guilds has appointed Anthony Impey MBE as the new Chair of its Industry Skills Board (ISB).  The ISB aims to engage and amplify employer voice to inform the skills development and government policy agenda, and in doing so help the UK and its people develop the skills needed to prosper.

5th annual Princess Royal Training Awards celebrates outstanding business learning programmes

UK businesses’ training is recognised by HRH The Princess Royal on the eve of her 70th birthday - #PrincessRoyalAt70 @RoyalFamily  Recipients from a wealth of sectors including health and social care, manufacturing, public sector and technology all proved the value of investing in L&D to address a wide range of business needs.

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The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

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In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

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We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

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