The Government must not alter its commitment to raising skill levels in order to drive long-term and sustained economic growth, urges NIACE in response to today’s Autumn Statement which included news of 30,000 extra places in higher education and 20,000 more Higher Apprenticeships.
David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE, said:
"The Government deserves credit for recognising that it will not be possible to build a sustainable recovery on the basis of low-skill jobs that add little value. Britain’s competitive advantage lies in a knowledge-rich, innovative economy which utilises the skills and creativity of the entire population to the full.”
NIACE believes that young people in care will be better equipped to make the most of learning opportunities following today’s announcement from the Department for Education that local authorities will now have a legal duty to financially support young care leavers in foster care until the age of 21 (previously 18) and that the government will fund them to do so.
Responding to the publication of the OECD PISA Report, Carol Taylor, Director of Development and Research at NIACE, said:
"There is no doubt that many of our young people are not as well equipped in essential skills as their peers in other nations across the world. We have far too many who leave school with poor skills. We know that there are 4-year-olds starting school who haven’t been read to. We also know that children going to secondary school without the necessary skills will very quickly fall even further behind. Too many children leave school too early and then find themselves out of work, with no chance of a fulfilling career and dangerously close to living on the margins of society.
Participation in publicly-funded adult learning in England was 4.2% higher in the 2012/13 academic year compared to 2011/12 according to official figures. These figures showed that 3,280,600 people over the age of 19 took part in government-funded further education in this period.
Commenting on the Statistical First Release Further Education & Skills: Learner Participation, Outcomes and Level of Highest Qualification Held, NIACE’s Chief Executive, David Hughes, said:
NIACE is repeating its call for the Government to take urgent action following the publication of the number of people taking out a loan for an Advanced or Higher-Level Apprenticeship. Today’s figures show that in the first quarter only 404 people, aged 24 and over, have applied for loans against the target of 25,000 for the year, and compared to 197,600 Apprentices at this level in 2012/13*.
David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE, said:
Natspec is looking for 45 sector leaders to improve the quality of non-accredited provision using RARPA in the second phase of national work to support progression on non-accredited programmes for students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, including mental health problems.
Natspec wants to recruit 45 practitioners with relevant expertise, to use the guidance framework and resources which have already been produced. This will enable them to collaborate with peers in their own organisations and regionally to develop and deliver training programmes and resources to support improvement.
Funded by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), this new Maths Mentors programme – Maths4Prisons - was trialled at HMPs Hewell and Coldingley, with more work planned with Brinsford YOI, Send and Styal. Maths4Prisons builds on the informal maths support that already happens in prisons, often focussing on money management.
One mentor said:
"The mentee was buzzing and felt that he had genuinely achieved something himself [and] wishes to progress to long calculations without using a calculator."
Another mentor who assisted in a maths class said:
Advances in technology have developed a new frontier between learners and how they learn. NIACE’s Learning at the Digital Frontier conference will explore what teaching and learning on this new digital frontier is like and will recognise inspirational digital practitioners.
The Education and Training Foundation has publicly thanked David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE, for the accomplishments made during his time as Interim Chair of the Foundation.
In a letter, David Hughes is thanked for his:
NIACE is looking forward to working with Barbara Spicer, the new interim Chief Executive of the Skills Funding Agency, who will take up her new role on Monday 25 November.
David Hughes, NIACE Chief Executive, said:
As part of its activity for the AoC annual conference, NIACE arranged a fringe meeting as UK Coordinator for the EU Agenda on Adult Learning with its UK partners – Scotland's Learning Partnership (SALP), WEA Northern Ireland and NIACE DC - to plan the next UK international conference. Focussing on increasing participation in adult learning, the conference is due to take place in Edinburgh 12-14 May 2014 and follows on from NIACE’s contribution to the French National Initiative supporting Literacy - Illettrisme, Grande Cause Nationale - in Lyon last week.
The new NIACE maths app – Maths Everywhere – has been praised by the Skills Minister, Matthew Hancock MP, at the AoC Conference in Birmingham today, as one example of how technology is transforming teaching and learning.
Matthew Hancock, said:
"Embracing technology involves changing the role of the teacher. Less lecturer, more tutor. Supporting and guiding pupils as they learn. Developing character. mentoring and motivating. Just as blackboards were resisted two hundred years ago because teachers didn’t want to turn their backs to the class, but quickly became ubiquitous, so in a few short years online technology will form a huge part of the way we teach."
NIACE was once again proud to play a major role at The Skills Show (14 – 16 November 2013), the UK’s largest interactive event celebrating and showcasing a huge variety of skills and demonstrating the growing prominence given to vocational education and training.
Over 90,000 participants were given the unique opportunity to discover a wealth of new skills, learning opportunities and gain crucial advice about careers.
Tom Stannard, NIACE Director of Communications and Public Affairs, said:
NIACE is once again making a major contribution to The Skills Show – UK’s largest interactive event celebrating and showcasing a huge variety of skills.
The Skills Show starting today, provides a unique opportunity for people of all ages to discover a wealth of new skills, learning and careers. This free national event is expected to attract over 70,000 participants, and will be held at the NEC Birmingham from 14 – 16 November 2013.
NIACE is inviting members, learners, tutors, providers, policy makers and other stakeholders to complete a short survey on their views and perceptions of NIACE and its work, closing today.
David Hughes, NIACE’s Chief Executive, said:
"The intelligence we gain from this survey will help us to meet your needs and to work more effectively. The NIACE Board will spend time considering the views and we are committed to publishing a summary of what we find, so you will hear back from us in the New Year."
For any queries about the survey, please contact email@example.com
The second in a series of conferences examining the benefits of partnership and collaboration in higher education between providers, institutional partners, employers and communities takes place today, at the University of Lincoln.
NIACE has responded to the report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, which shows that the vast majority of young people leaving care are not receiving the help and support they are entitled to.
Carol Taylor, Director for Development and Research at NIACE, said:
Cerys Furlong, Assistant Director (External Strategy) for the Open University in Wales, has been appointed to the role of Director of NIACE Dysgu Cymru. She will be replacing the current Director, Richard Spear, who is taking up the role of Chief Executive at Careers Wales.
Cerys Furlong, in her current role at the Open University, is responsible for widening participation, employer engagement and external partnerships and collaboration across Wales. Cerys represents the Open University on a range of key strategic groups including the three HE regional partnerships on Wales, Higher Education Wales and Reaching Wider.
The publication of an Institute for Fiscal Studies report - The Outlook for Higher Education Spending by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills - provides a stark reminder of the financial challenges facing the public provision of post-19 education and training in England and the tough decisions that lie ahead.
Responding to the publication of the Whitehead Review of Vocational Skills today, David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE, said:
"It’s great that vocational skills have been given this level of attention by Nigel Whitehead’s Review. We applaud this attempt to simplify and improve what is an extremely complex system. This report is a helpful contribution to the debate about what works and what doesn’t, to help ensure vocational qualifications operate effectively within the broader funding and regulatory systems.