Vocational Education

Leading in a VUCA World - How Do We Train People For An Era Of Uncertainty?

Professor Maurits van Rooijen | Posted 13.09.2017 | UK
Professor Maurits van Rooijen

The American defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld's spoke during a press conference in 2002 (in)famously about the 'known and unknown unknowns'. This mig...

Grammar Schools Aren't The Problem - We Are

John Fletcher | Posted 09.09.2017 | UK Politics
John Fletcher

Grammar Schools are once again dominating the British news realm with government plans to take a "pragmatic" look at the construction of new grammar schools. The announcement, luke warm though it was, has been enough to start the familiar debates rolling about Middle Class privilege versus offering opportunities to Working Class children.

Opening the Door to Social Mobility - Using Vocational Education as Its Lever

Mark Farrar | Posted 17.06.2017 | UK
Mark Farrar

Endless reports have referred to an imbalance in funding between higher education and vocational education and the traditional stigma that is associat...

Don't Forget the 'Other 50%': The Role Vocational Education Plays in Social Mobility

Mark Farrar | Posted 03.02.2017 | UK Universities & Education
Mark Farrar

Politicians from all parties are in agreement on the importance of the UK becoming more socially mobile. People should have the same chances to develop and prosper regardless of the circumstances of their birth.

Reforming Apprenticeships - Four Tips for the Tories

Channon Zhangazha | Posted 30.09.2016 | UK Universities & Education
Channon Zhangazha

Apprenticeships are attracting a huge amounts of interest from across the political spectrum. We've come a long way from the days when Tony Blair is said to have joked that political interest in vocational education was such that he could make a declaration of war in a speech about skills and no-one would ever notice.

I've Got My Results, Now What Do I Do?

Scott Waddington | Posted 25.08.2016 | UK Universities & Education
Scott Waddington

I imagine for some of you the decision of what happens next will have already been made, university places accepted and bags waiting to be packed. But for others, this decision will not be so clear, and if this is you, it's really important to look at all of the opportunities on offer.

Exam Season: Bad News Can Be a Blessing in Disguise

Poppy Jamie | Posted 13.08.2016 | UK Universities & Education
Poppy Jamie

What seemed like the most terrible scenario in the world ended up being the biggest godsend as I was forced to look at alternative options. Within a month I'd had a lucky meeting with someone and managed to secure some work experience. It was this year after school when I realised how IMPORTANT work experience was.

Why I'm Encouraging Students to Take the Path Less Travelled... and Consider a Vocational Qualification

Diarmuid Gavin | Posted 09.06.2016 | UK Universities & Education
Diarmuid Gavin

Looking back, what I remember vividly is the dedication and enthusiasm of those who taught me. The practical skills I learnt from this vocational training have stayed with me for life and provided a solid foundation for my career as a garden designer. I have extremely happy, fond memories of this time - much better memories than those in the classroom not really interested in what I was being taught.

Will 2015 Be the Year of the U-Turn in Vocational Education?

Joanne Harper | Posted 28.05.2016 | UK Universities & Education
Joanne Harper

For many years vocational education has been stigmatised as only suitable for the 'less bright', and for those that needed to prepare for a specific trade. This is because vocational education directly develops expertise in techniques related to technology, skill and scientific technique to span all aspects of the trade

Neat But Wrong - Stop Blaming Young People for Youth Unemployment

Joe Lane | Posted 04.05.2015 | UK Politics
Joe Lane

Young people are an easy target, and talking about employability and skills kills a number of ideological birds in one swoop. But chasing full employability is not a solution to the plight of NEETs and demonising the young and out of work is irresponsible.

Sports Leadership - Practical Learning With a Qualification to Show

Linda Plowright | Posted 29.11.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Linda Plowright

Vocational learning is wide ranging and inclusive for all abilities, far more so than many academic styles of learning. We need to encourage a culture where vocational and academic qualifications are seen as equal, and learners follow the route most suited to them with pride.

Retaining Top-Level Talent: Do Our Young People Have the Industry Support They Need to Strive for Oxbridge?

Scott Waddington | Posted 22.10.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Scott Waddington

A report out this summer revealed that only 19.5% of Welsh applications to Oxford and Cambridge were successful during the 2011-12 admissions cycle, compared to a success rate of 25% for England and Northern Ireland... Welsh industry most certainly does require that top level expertise if it is to continue to thrive.

Too Clever for an Apprenticeship?

Jan Hodges | Posted 01.06.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Jan Hodges

It is an age old stereotype that vocational learning is a last resort for those who have failed academically, a 'plan b' for when exams go wrong and options are limited. As with all stereotypes it is oversimplified and damaging. Putting people in boxes, labelling them one thing or the other is wrong and calling a child 'too clever' for vocational education is no exception.

It's Stupid to Think You're Too Clever for Apprenticeships

Chris Jones | Posted 12.04.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Chris Jones

The bottom line is, vocational education which is stretching, rigorous and based on employers' needs is extremely valuable. I know that. Employers know that. Let's get the message out there.

What the UK Could Learn From Obama

Chris Jones | Posted 02.04.2014 | UK Politics
Chris Jones

President Obama recently gave the much-anticipated State of the Union address. It was encouraging to hear that we actually have similar views on education.

Your Future Doesn't Depend on UCAS

Chris Jones | Posted 19.03.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Chris Jones

It's that time of year again when thousands of young people put the final touches on their UCAS applications, hold their breath and hit 'send'. Then they anxiously wait for weeks until their 'life-altering' results come through. My son went through this process last year. I'll never forget his panicked face as he said, 'What if I don't get any offers?'

Ten Reasons to Undertake an Apprenticeship

Lizzie Moffatt | Posted 30.11.2013 | UK Universities & Education
Lizzie Moffatt

Many young adults are returning to school after a long summer and preparing for their final year. They are naturally concerned about their forthcoming exams and already considering which university they would like to attend. Very few of those young adults will be considering an apprenticeship...

Vocational Degrees Come of Age

Anne Whitehouse | Posted 02.10.2013 | UK Universities & Education
Anne Whitehouse

When you're choosing a university and a degree course, how do you decide between the myriad of courses available and ensure that you're giving yourself the best start when it comes to finding a job once you've graduated?

Introducing the IAC - The Voice of Industry Apprentices

Ann Watson | Posted 24.09.2013 | UK Universities & Education
Ann Watson

The IAC is giving learners something they have not had before - a national voice. The changing landscape of apprenticeships in this country, as Government endeavours to secure the vocational route as a central pathway into fulfilling careers, requires input from those who will be affected - the apprentices themselves.

A Clash of Nations in Germany - WorldSkills Leipzig 2013

Ann Watson | Posted 02.09.2013 | UK Universities & Education
Ann Watson

The world celebrates vocational qualifications this week. A thousand of the brightest and best from around the planet have gathered in Leipzig, Germany, to battle it out to be crowned the "Best in the World" at their chosen profession.

Today's Apprenticeships Not Working For Disaffected Youth

Graham Duxbury | Posted 03.06.2013 | UK Universities & Education
Graham Duxbury

The tone of the week's announcements responded to the conclusions of a major review of the system undertaken over the last year. This concluded that apprenticeships need to be bigger and better, worn as a badge of honour and positioned as the preferred route to achieving aspirational career goals.

The Industry Apprentice Council: it's time to make a change

Lizzie Moffatt | Posted 28.05.2013 | UK Universities & Education
Lizzie Moffatt

Throughout my time in education, apprenticeships were perceived to be for people who were not academic or motivated enough to go to university; they were and still are perceived to be second rate.

If the Government's Work Programme Is Not Working - Then What Will?

Lottie Dexter | Posted 29.01.2013 | UK Universities & Education
Lottie Dexter

Latest results show that the government's flagship back-to-work scheme is not working. At least not yet. But as more young people are locked out of the job market, we need to start looking at other ways to help.

We Must be Ambitious for All Our Young People

Stephen Twigg | Posted 28.01.2013 | UK Universities & Education
Stephen Twigg

Even in the Prime Minister's own backyard of Oxfordshire, there are too many coasting schools. We need to learn from success stories like Wigan and Darlington to understand why other areas, like Derby and Doncaster, are less successful.

It's Time to Keep Vocational Working in the Spotlight

Fiona McBride | Posted 08.12.2012 | UK Universities & Education
Fiona McBride

The idea of only awarding substantial public sector contracts to those companies that agree to train a significant number of the next generation of Apprenticeships is one that we fully endorse. Although this did not get through the last parliament, it is encouraging that this is now part of Labour party policy.