The Federation of Awarding Bodies appears to be digging in for a fight with the government over its policy of giving just a single body or consortium the exclusive right to deliver each new T-level qualification under a five-year licence, reports TES. The federation argues that the policy reflected in the current tendering process is anti-competitive and not in learners’ best interests.
Skills minister Anne Milton has launched a £5m scheme designed to retrain up to 150 experts from engineering, computing and other technical sectors as teachers in FE, according to the Education and Training Foundation. (ETF). The Taking Teaching Further programme, to be delivered by the ETF, is particularly linked to the first T-level qualifications due to launch from September 2020, as well as teaching across the wider FE sector. It will also support 40 projects to build local partnerships and links that encourage closer collaboration between industry and FE.
Key reasons for recent poor take-up of apprenticeships among small to medium size businesses (SMEs) – more than 50% down on the equivalent figures 12 months ago – include insufficient non-levy funding to meet employer demand, says a new survey by the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP). Up to 70-80% of members who responded also said they found it difficult to understand and work with the new system and were concerned about the lack of endpoint assessment provision and insufficient numbers of new apprenticeship standards in place. In response to government reforms, around 55% were moving their apprenticeship provision across to a different sector or occupational area, 53% noted their provision was being increasingly taken up by larger levy-paying employers. Some 42% of providers say that the reforms are prompting them to run more higher level apprenticeship programmes to cater for employer demand.
Closing the still broad gap between numbers of male (43%) and female (26%) young people considering careers in Stem subjects is the aim of a new campaign promoted by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). According to IET, around 59,000 engineering jobs are not being filled each year. In an IET survey, just 12% of respondents said their current study of Stem subjects had encouraged them to consider them as career options. In response, IET has produced a new video showing five female engineers using their skills to turn stereotypical ideas about Stem on their head. The institution says more needs to be done to promote Stem careers: 27% of young people surveyed said it was teachers’ responsibility, 10% cited parents, while 14% said the government should do more.