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Updated: 2 hours 24 min ago

Latest figures reinforce NIACE call for Apprentice Charter

Thu, 18/12/2014 - 3:29pm

One in seven apprentices, over 120,000 people, are being paid less than the appropriate minimum wage according to the latest figures, according to two reports published today.

The reports – the Apprenticeship Evaluation – Learner Report and the 2014 Apprentice Pay Survey Report - show that:

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Nominations closed for 2015 Adult Learners' Week Awards

Wed, 17/12/2014 - 5:06pm

Nominations for the 2015 Adult Learners’ Week Awards have now closed and NIACE thanks everyone who has taken the time to share stories about remarkable learning and learners.

The rigorous short-listing and selection process will take place next and NIACE looks forward to sharing the stories of the winners in June 2015. The national and regional Adult Learners’ Week Awards will be presented to a range of learners, tutors, projects and employers.

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Cross-Government action essential to address low literacy and numeracy

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 12:30pm

Commenting on the Government’s response to the BIS Select Committee Report on adult literacy and numeracy, David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE, said:

“I’m pleased that the Government shares the BIS Select Committee’s appreciation of the urgency of the situation. Far too many adults in this country have limited life chances because they don’t have the opportunities they need to improve their English and maths. This has a huge impact on them, their families, our society and our economy.

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National Colleges - an important step towards parity

Thu, 11/12/2014 - 1:18pm

Responding to today’s announcement, by the Business Secretary Vince Cable, of four new national colleges to help the UK develop world-class skills in the advanced manufacturing, digital, wind energy and creative industries, David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE, said:

“Greater investment in the development of higher-level vocational skills through four new employer-led national colleges is an important step in helping place vocational training on a par with higher education. As is the announcement of maintenance support for vocational learners.

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Sector needs flexibility to deliver new GCSEs

Thu, 11/12/2014 - 9:57am

The post-16 education sector supports the Government's ambition to promote GCSEs as the national standard of English and maths but needs a flexible environment to successfully implement and deliver these new qualifications. This is the headline finding of an implementation consultation carried out by NIACE on behalf of BIS and DfE.

A range of stakeholders from across the sector - including FE colleges, independent training providers, awarding organisations and employers - also stressed that:

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Learners must retain option for unit-based learning

Tue, 09/12/2014 - 11:09am

Responding to the news that the QCF is to be scrapped next summer, David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE, said:

“Adults make the most of opportunities when they can learn flexibly and in ways that match what they want and need to learn. This announcement by Ofqual does not prevent qualifications retaining the accessibility, affordability and flexibility of unit-based delivery but it does remove the requirement. We will work with Awarding Organisations and learning providers to make sure that they recognise the demand and the power of a unit-based offer, particularly up to Level 2. We know through our work that this has been particularly effective for unemployed people and offenders and will work with adults who want and need to get back into learning.

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Autumn Statement falls short on pay, skills and productivity challenge

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 3:24pm

NIACE believes the plans for long-term economic growth, as detailed by the Chancellor, require significant improvements in our skills base. However, investment in and learning by adults over 25 is falling and today’s Autumn Statement has fallen short in addressing that challenge.

The Autumn Statement included the following measures:

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Dramatic falls in learning require radical action

Wed, 26/11/2014 - 1:31pm

The introduction of adult learning loans for those aged 24 and over has led to a dramatic fall in the numbers participating in learning. This, alongside fewer adults participating in other learning, will severely impact the prospects for long-term economic growth and for people’s ability to progress in their careers and in life.

According to the latest figures published today, the number of adults participating in Government funded learning in 2013/14, when compared with 2012/13, show:

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'Perfect Storm' damaging economic prospects

Mon, 24/11/2014 - 5:33pm

Responding to the latest report – ‘Growth Through People’ - from UKCES, David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE, said:

“There has been a flurry of reports in recent weeks, all spelling out the same set of skills challenges for the economy, for employers and for people's career hopes. We now have a true consensus, with reports from the whole range of bodies including employers, unions, FE and HE, all adding weight to what NIACE has been saying from our work with learners and adults of all ages. 

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New English and maths qualifications need learner input

Wed, 19/11/2014 - 4:53pm

Responding to the announcement by the Skills Minister Nick Boles, that there will be a review of the best way to achieve and accredit maths and English skills, David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE, said:

“It is vital that the skills system works closely with employers to design English and maths qualifications that they value and recognise. But we also need to involve learners in that process. English and maths (and digital) skills are the bedrock on which people can build the other skills they need in work and in life. It is great news that the Minister has recognised their value and that he wants to raise the profile of maths and English qualifications other than GCSEs.

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BIS adopts NIACE Traineeship recommendation

Tue, 18/11/2014 - 1:41pm

NIACE’s recommendation that young people aged 19 – 24, who have a full level 2 qualification, should have the same eligibility rights to a Traineeship as those aged 16-18, has been adopted today by BIS.

David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE said:

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Skills Commission report supports NIACE's call for radical action

Mon, 17/11/2014 - 2:59pm

Today’s analysis from the Skills Commission – which warns that the UK’s system of training and skills provision is growing increasingly out of step with the needs of the modern economy - is further support for NIACE’s call for a radical new approach to skills training for the UK workforce.

David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE, said:

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OECD reaffirms NIACE’s concerns

Thu, 13/11/2014 - 3:08pm

Greater challenges to meeting future skills gaps and skills shortages have been highlighted by the OECD today.

In its report Skills Beyond School the OECD notes that England and Northern Ireland ‘stand out as countries where, relative both to other countries and to potential demand, there is limited provision of postsecondary vocational training, potentially leading to a shortage of mid-level skills’.

David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE, said:

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A coherent framework for higher level vocational education is crucial

Thu, 13/11/2014 - 1:40pm

NIACE is encouraged by the progress made in the last year to establish an outstanding vocational learning system in the UK, as highlighted today in the publication of One Year on Review, the update report from the Commission on Adult Vocational Teaching and Learning (CAVTL).

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SFA clarifies FELTAG 10% recommendation at NIACE conference

Thu, 13/11/2014 - 11:25am

The Further Education Learning Technology Action Group's (FELTAG) recommendation that ‘10% of learning should be online’ has left many providers feeling confused, but will be clarified by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) during their seminar at NIACE’s Digital Learning Conference at The Skills Show tomorrow.

There has been enormous interest in the FELTAG report and particularly the recommendation that 10% of learning should be through online delivery. Many providers, however, have expressed their confusion over what counts as ‘online learning’.

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Radical new approach needed in the workplace

Thu, 13/11/2014 - 9:54am

NIACE has responded to the British Chamber of Commerce Workforce Survey which has highlighted that 92% of businesses have identified a skills shortage in at least one area of their workforce.

David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE, said:

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A technological revolution in learning

Mon, 10/11/2014 - 5:01pm

The innovative and dynamic breakthroughs in technology that are transforming the ways people can learn will be the focus of NIACE’s activity at The Skills Show this year (13-15 November).

Joining NIACE at The Skills Show will be Maggie Philbin (the Chair of the UK Digital Taskforce and Chief Executive of TeenTech), BBC i-Wonder, Barclays Digital Eagles, The Lab at O2/Telefonica, National Numeracy and many more people and organisations who have created imaginative opportunities for adults to learn.

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PM stresses importance of lifelong learning

Mon, 10/11/2014 - 1:00pm

Encouraged by the glowing references made on the importance of lifelong learning, NIACE has responded to the Prime Minister’s speech at today’s CBI Conference.

David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE, said:

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Making Skills Devolution Work

Wed, 05/11/2014 - 9:11pm

A package of solutions to tackle the current employment and skills challenges – ageing workforce, skills gaps, low productivity, and youth and adult unemployment - has been launched by NIACE today.

The 2015 Localism Prospectus, which draws upon NIACE’s proven market capability in employer partnerships, skills, employment support and social inclusion across the entire post-16 landscape in employment, learning and skills, provides a support package to help build a better future for the employment and skills system and the people it serves in local areas across the country.

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Ten ways to improve Apprenticeships and Traineeships for 16-19 year-olds

Wed, 05/11/2014 - 3:49pm

Evidence which supports NIACE’s proposals on Apprenticeships and Traineeships was presented to The House of Commons Education Select Committee this morning. The session heard from researchers, officials and experts on the policy background and operational management of Apprenticeships and Traineeships for 16-19 year olds in England.

The Committee’s inquiry is looking into how well the current Apprenticeships and Traineeships systems are meeting the needs of learners and employers.  MPs and witnesses discussed the image and definition of Apprenticeships, pre-16 work experience opportunities and increasing employer participation in delivering apprenticeships and traineeships.

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