Emma Shipstone FIEP, Industry Specialist in Post 16 Education

I have worked within post 16 education for over 25 years and whilst there have been many crisis and recessions before I have never seen an impact as that which I am witnessing with Covid. I am currently a school governor as well as working with Apprentices, Traineeships and NEET learners. The lack of face to face intervention is having a huge impact on those who need our support. Remote learning does not always work, it is not always the option they need. For some young people, they quite simply do not have the access, technology or funds. For some, even if they do have the access, it is still not the right approach.  

For the past few months I have been working with a group of NEET learners and most of them are regularly attending the centre for one to one sessions in a Covid secure environment. Many of these learners are care leavers, carers, or looked-after children. We started with trying remote, online activity but it just wasn’t working. Their employability qualification includes elements of Interpersonal Skills and Healthy Lifestyles, but when you talk to these young people about what that means to them, right now, the answers are stark. Their hope is fading in a society that is trying its best to keep people safe and keep the economy moving. Their GCSE grades were predicted after their education was severely affected by the first lockdown and their results don’t necessarily reflect their reality – some better, some worse, which causes both funding and engagement issues at both ends of the spectrum. Their daily routines are terrible, with all of them seeing no point in getting up in a morning. So, offering them the opportunity to come into a centre right now feels like a lifeline. A time where we can talk and support and progress learning. We have another 2 years of young people leaving school this summer and next, who will be even more adversely affected and signs of mental health issues with young people are evident and increasing. 

So how do we support this group? How do we show them that they can still have great aspirations? How do we join up Skills and Employment and maximise all the initiatives and funding opportunities that providers of education and employment are working with, or bidding for (Restart, Traineeship, AEB, Devolved areas, Bootcamps….the list goes on)? As a sector there is a complex supply chain of primes, subs and associates, public, private and voluntary, how do we ensure that they are all included and aware of the opportunities? There is then the dilemma of funding. How do we do the best for the learners with the funding we have and how can we work better as one whole sector to truly support these young people? How do we use non-regulated funding to support those learners who have had their GCSE maths and English over graded or their anxiety is affecting their confidence so much it is hindering their ability to progress and learn?

We need to find an efficient and effective way of connecting the newly approved Traineeship providers, Kickstart jobs and Restart activity with Apprenticeship providers to ensure we can support young people into lifelong learning with careers and education that will see them through this next generation. I don’t have any easy answers to this. Maybe the new local area plans might help and I know that many devolved areas have a better, all-round picture of provision in their local areas but how does that information get shared and get the information to the learners within the confines of GDPR? 

There are very few organisations that can offer the full spectrum of support from unemployment, employability courses, into employment, health and wellbeing, traineeships, apprenticeships, and in work qualifications. I am using my knowledge and connections within the sectors to ensure that these young people are connected for progression opportunities, and to support schools to be aware of post 16 opportunities. This isn’t about funding farming, but truly about joining up the dots to support progression, something which I haven’t yet seen.   

I would welcome the opportunity to work with other individuals and organisations to see how we can create meaningful partnerships, shared job boards, a charter or agreement, and not in competition. We have to work together to ensure we support this younger generation to avoid a future catastrophe.

By Emma Shipstone FIEP, Industry Specialist in Post 16 Education

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

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.

Podcasts

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.

Events

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