Nazrene Mannie, Executive Director, GAN Global Apprenticeship Network

Closing the skills mismatch gap is more urgent than ever. To tackle this issue, we need to not only take an in-depth look at the skills people need to remain employable in this labour market – but how do we skill people effectively, especially during times of uncertainty and rapid digitalization? And where better to look for skilling needs and programmes, than to the private sector? The Global Apprenticeship Network (GAN Global) is a private sector led and government backed skilling and employment initiative born in 2013 amidst a labour market crisis, following financial uncertainty and economic shocks felt in several countries.  

Today, effects of the financial crisis still linger on in our labour markets and are even more so compounded due to increasingly fast-paced changes in the world of work since the beginning of the pandemic. In the current, different kind of crisis, the mission of GAN Global has been renewed and strengthened, while its original aim to lessen the skills gap through increased private sector engagement in work-based learning remains the same. Since taking the helm of GAN Global, as its Executive Director in 2019, I have witnessed major shifts in private sector needs for skilling and worked with industries to learn more about how they are coping and dealing with these changes, through various work-based learning techniques.

When I first joined GAN Global, we were still amid the aftermath of the financial crisis and rampant youth unemployment, underpinning the need to ensure smoother school to work transitions through a concerted effort of the private sector to provide more training opportunities. Over the past 20 months, I have seen our private sector partners training methods disrupted in unforeseeable ways, emphasising the necessity of agile workforces with adaptable skills that can respond to changes in the world of work. The main difference I see today, in comparison to a few short years ago, is that it is no longer youth and new entrants into the labour market that are disproportionately affected. Older, existing and mid-level employees now more than ever, need to rapidly upskill and reskill to maintain any status in the working world.

These challenges have prompted employers to rethink learning and development strategies to balance the needs of both an aging workforce and younger, prospective talent who are struggling to find a first employer.  Socio-economic developments, new and emerging technologies, and a pandemic have shown us that the world of work is in a state of constant flux and without the right skills, workers, especially those from disadvantaged groups (women, young, ethnic minorities, low-skilled workers), will find it increasingly difficult to find the work they need to earn a meaningful living.

Even before the pandemic, one of the main concerns for business leaders was finding, keeping, and developing the talent needed for the modern world. As we begin to recover from the pandemic, many businesses will continue to lack the relevant skills needed to succeed in the new world of work. Seventy-two percent of CEOs current cite the availability of key skills as a core business concern[1].

At GAN Global, we were faced with issues on how to adapt work-based learning during pandemic times and came up with a few pointers for the private sector. These lessons span our unique perspectives from several industries, regions, countries and stakeholders:

  • Policy, advocacy and analysis to create and shape enabling policy frameworks at a global and local level must adapt to skills needs beyond the pandemic and respond to a world where COVID-19 and the related disruptions will be endemic.
  • Amplifying the private sector voice in the space of employment and education is critical to ensure that policy makers incorporate a demand-led skills planning approach where the private sector is engaged as a key stakeholder in shaping a future-proofed vocational education landscape.
  • Alongside policy makers, business has a responsibility to build and develop the skills of their workers and future talent, and an opportunity to positively transform people’s lives and contribute to society. COVID-19 presents an opportunity to reframe the employer-employee relationship and ensure that people-centred leadership thrives.
  • A multi-stakeholder approach to active project implementation and peer-to-peer learning from both the private and public sectors must thrive to ensure innovation and to close the jobs and skills mismatch across developed and developing economies.

If we want to close the skills gap, pervasive around the globe, across industries and economies, we need a common recognition that current systems need to be updated to respond effectively to fundamental shifts in the labour market, seek concerted efforts that create enabling environments, built on collaboration, and foster an openness to learning (even amongst business leaders and policy makers). In my two plus years as an Executive Director of such an association bringing together business leaders and policy makers, I remain optimistic of the power of leveraging such partnerships for the greater good. In our one and a half years adapting to a pandemic context, the shifts in mindset and adaptations to work-based learning programmes I have witnessed from some of the largest employers is testament to the fact that change is happening fast, and together, we are testing and adapting skilling solutions adapted to our current context.

[1] [1] Skills strategies for a sustainable world of work: A guide for Chief Human Resources Officers, WBCSD and GAN, 2021

Nazrene Mannie, Executive Director, GAN Global Apprenticeship Network

You may also be interested in these articles:

#AntiRacismInAction : Wales | Episode 4

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 2 days ago

The Environmental Impacts of Remote Work: Stats and Benefits: Working from home is a necessity rather than a luxury…
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

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.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 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, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

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.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page