The number of apprenticeship starts in May-July this year has dropped by a massive 61% over the same period last year, according to DfE provisional statistics reported In FE Week. The fall from 113,000 to 43,600 comes in the first three months following introduction of the apprenticeship levy. The figures are in stark contrast to the previous quarter that recorded a 47% increase compared to the same period in 2016, suggesting a rush by employers to hire apprentices before the levy kicked in.
Education secretary Justine Greening says childcare and education, digital and construction will be the first three T-levels to be taught from 2020, reports FE Week. However, each T-level (career route) will initially only be delivered along one as yet unspecified ‘pathway’ (a syllabus tailored to a particular occupation within the general T-level subject area). The full range of career pathways (up to five) for each T-level will only be available by 2021.
* Greening has also officially opened the National College for High Speed Rail, based in Doncaster and Birmingham, the third national college to open fully.
Two free massive open online learning courses (Moocs) aimed at school pupils and teachers are being launched by Ucas to improve careers advice to school-leavers, reports TES. The first course, starting on October 23, targets careers advisers and teachers, followed on November 6 by a second course aimed at school-leavers and covering career options and advice on how to research them.
Among its recommendations submitted for November’s budget, the adult education organisation, Holex, is calling for an adult basic skills Brexit fund to support training of older UK-based workers in low-skilled sectors, TES reports. Holex also wants extra new funding set aside for a national retraining scheme supported by an extended right to ask for time off work for training. The ideas support a campaign to stress the crucial role of adult education, including a plea to the government to launch an adult education, skills and employment strategy with the same status as the Industrial Strategy launched in January.
A full set of all the new standards so far approved for apprenticeships is now available on the newly launched Institute for Apprenticeships website.