Howard Pilott,  Head of Development and Advice of Initial Teacher Education (ITE).

Teaching in FE: there’s something for everyone!

Further education colleges need experienced people from industry and the trades to pass on their skills, and you don’t need a teaching qualification at the outset.

As June is Have a Go Month, Howard Pilott, of the FE Advice service at the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) explains how you can take the plunge.

Like many people, I’d done  other things before I took up teaching in FE. Which helps now that I run the FE Advice service at the ETF. Should you decide – for example – that your days as a plumber are numbered now that your knees are a bit less flexible, you might consider the time is right for passing on your skills. After all, we are always going to need plumbers, and the new recruits have to learn from someone…

FE Advice is the one-stop shop for all you need to know if you’re interested in passing your skills on to the next generation.  At the Education and Training Foundation, we are keen to encourage people from industry and the trades to consider becoming FE teachers.  Your know-how can prepare  trainees to hit the streets with first-hand knowledge of jobs and customers; of tasks and deadlines; of what it takes to make the grade.

To get into teaching in FE you don’t need a teaching qualification, although it’s likely you’ll be expected to get one once in post. This might be surprising but there’s a good reason, and a story might help. In the days when I ran a Building Technology department in a college, if my bricklaying teacher left, there was little point in advertising for a bricklayer with a teaching qualification, as they were few and far between.

So, I’d employ a brickie and get them to do the teacher training once in post. And this is the way a lot of people enter teaching in FE: they just start doing it. You can opt to do a full-time teacher training course at a college, university or private provider, but it isn’t essential, especially in the hard-to-recruit subjects.

At FE Advice, we often advise people start out by contacting all the FE providers in their local areas directly, and offer their services: “Hi, I am an experienced sports coach (or whatever) and am interested in teaching. Could I speak to the relevant Head of Department please?”  We find this works better than sending in CVs blind.

If this is something that tickles your fancy, why not give us a ring at FE Advice – 0300 3031877? We run a personal service – you  get straight through to an expert.

All the advisors have been FE teachers themselves and have also been teacher trainers, so they know all that’s worth knowing  and are very helpful. Drop us an email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – we’ll be back to you within a working day.

Howard Pilott, Head of Development and Advice of Initial Teacher Education (ITE).


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