As the issue of skills rises up the educational agenda and the number of 18-year-olds going to university falls, the Government is driving through one of the biggest shake-ups in the English qualifications system for years. The introduction of new ‘T levels’ is designed to help tackle Britain’s productivity challenge and to raise the profile of technical education. They will also replace the plethora of vocational qualifications currently on offer in each technical area with just one recognisable qualification type. Continue reading
By Harminder Hundal
In 2015/16, 509, 400 people started apprenticeships in England and I was one of them! In May 2016 I began my journey as an apprentice with NFER, and looking back it was the best step I could have taken for my career. Continue reading
By Tami McCrone
What did your child do at school today? An age old question that any parent will tell you is difficult to get an answer to at the best of times. In my house, I might achieve a grunt of ‘maths’ from my son, and perhaps a bit more of a detailed explanation of the latest graphics project from my daughter. But I don’t think any of my children ever came home and told me ‘we did careers education today mum and I’m interested in finding out more about working in business because that’s where my skills and interests lie!’
By Anneka Dawson
What do stacking bookshelves for a bookshop and doing photocopying for an insurance company have in common? They were activities I completed for work experience weeks while I was at school that did very little to prepare me for the world of work.
The coalition government made the decision to end compulsory work experience in 2012, a decision which some are challenging. The British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) workforce survey found that 76 per cent of 2,885 companies felt that a lack of work experience was one of the main reasons that young people were not ready for the workplace. This has led the BCC to call for a return to compulsory work experience. But are schools still using work experience placements, and how useful is work experience anyway? Continue reading
By Tami McCrone
NFER’s recent review of technical education for the Association of Colleges found that there is no universal understanding of what is meant by vocational and technical education. Despite that difficulty, it is possible to isolate the constituent parts of effective vocational teaching and learning, but not for effective technical education.
So what exactly are vocational and technical courses? Continue reading
By Sarah Lynch
As a parent with (some) knowledge of the educational choices facing young people, I am already wondering what pathway my son will take…and he’s only five years old! Parental influence is so important, and our views are often swayed by the ‘traditional’ academic routes we might have taken ourselves. But there are other valuable routes available to young people that we should consider. Continue reading
The government has recently announced its plans to introduce a new TechBacc performance measure. There must be virtually unanimous support among young people and stakeholders for such an idea, in particular I would expect this route to be appealing for young people who prefer and are more motivated by an applied learning route. There are some valuable elements of the proposal, however, I also have some concerns about the detail, as well as the speed of its implementation. Continue reading