FE News Update May 29

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Publicity campaign to boost parental awareness of T-levels

The government is spending at least £3m on implementing a publicity campaign in 2019-20 to promote T-levels, reports FE Week. £0.25m has already been spent on a new 'NexT Level’ logo promoting the new technical qualifications. A survey last September showed disappointingly low awareness levels among more than 1,000 parents with 11- to 18-year-olds: only one third had heard about T-levels. Many employers are also still not convinced about supporting the work placement element required by T-levels. Estimates of up to 100,000 placements, each lasting a minimum time of 315 hours, will need to be found to meet expected demand.

Anyone for a PhD apprenticeship?

Criticism of 'level 8' PhD apprenticeships by certain voices in the FE sector has been rebuffed by the University Vocational Awards Council (UVAC), reports FE Week. While critics such as the Institute for Apprenticeships say the level 8 concept is outside the spirit of the apprenticeship programme, UVAC’s policy and operations director, Mandy Crawford-Lee, says it is a perfect fit for professions like surgeons or dentists. She argues that level 8 can also be about skills, that apprenticeships should not just be the preserve of the young or disadvantaged, and that there is a need for building occupational skills at this higher level in areas such as clinical professional standards.

National training body to develop new 'essential digital skills' offer 

The government has commissioned the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) to deliver qualifications based on new ‘essential digital skills’ standards, announced by skills minister Anne Milton earlier this year. The digital qualifications will be on offer from 2020; in 2021 new digital functional skills qualifications will also be available. Courses will be fully funded by the government for any adult with no or low levels of digital skills. Skills such as using different devices, buying items securely online and protecting privacy online will be included.

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