Responding to the announcement by the Skills Minister, Matthew Hancock MP, of the plan to reduce ‘the number of under-used and low value qualifications which are available for taxpayer funding’ – including courses and qualifications in engineering, languages, manufacturing and construction - David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE, said:
Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal has agreed to extend her role as Royal Patron of NIACE for the next three years.
In a letter to NIACE, HRH The Princess Royal said that she was ‘delighted to extend her patronage.’ She will remain Royal Patron of NIACE until March 2017.
David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE, said:
The Further Education Learning Technology Action Group (FELTAG) has published a report – contributed to by NIACE and many other stakeholders - aiming to increase and improve the use of digital technologies for the further education and skills sector.
The report makes almost 40 recommendations to Matthew Hancock, Minister of State for Skills and Enterprise, ranging from an expansion of a digital leadership programme to the potential of MOOCs for vocational learning. The recommendations were developed by the group through open consultation including an innovative online conversation with stakeholders.
Responding to today’s figures which show that the proportion of young people aged 16-24, who are not in education, employment and training, has fallen to its lowest level since 2008, Dr Fiona Aldridge, Head of Learning for Work at NIACE, said:
"These are encouraging figures and a step in the right direction. However, far too many young people are still not getting the right start to their post-school life. They need better support in achieving that vital first step into the workplace, as well as having access to the right education and training opportunities to secure fulfilling and lasting careers.
Employers are positive about the potential of Traineeships, but many have not heard about the programme. This is the key finding of research by NIACE – funded by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation - to examine how Traineeships might work for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) within the context of a Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area.
In order to identify good quality, up-to-date, relevant equalities resources that support teaching, learning and assessment, as part of a project funded by the Skills Funding Agency, NIACE is inviting responses to an online survey.
Teachers, practitioners, training supervisors and managers working in all different kinds of education and training organisations, subject areas and programmes, are invited to contribute to the Equalities Resources Review. By completing NIACE's online survey, people can share:
Adult Learners’ Week received over 1,400 award nominations which are currently being rigorously short-listed, with national and regional selection panels taking place during March and April, and award winners announced in June.
Award winners will be invited to national and regional award ceremonies taking place during the Week itself (16-20 June) and will be presented with a certificate and learning voucher. All nominees will receive a certificate of achievement, regardless of whether they win an award.
Awards will be presented:
The challenge of improving mature access amid sharply declining numbers of older people applying to higher education institutions was explored at an event hosted by the University of East London and organised in association with NIACE and Action on Access.
According to the Independent Commission on Fees, full-time mature student applications have fallen by 14% since the trebling of tuition fees and the introduction of the new loans system. At the same time part-time student numbers have fallen by 40% since 2010, according to HEFCE figures, a loss of 105,000 students.
As part of a new project with the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, NIACE is calling for evidence from organisations that are delivering a Citizens’ Curriculum – learning designed together with adult learners in a local context, to help them gain greater control over their lives.
The second UK International conference exploring ways of increasing participation of low skilled adults in learning - organised by NIACE as UK Coordinator for the EU Agenda on Adult Learning, together with Scotland's Learning Partnership (SALP) - is taking place in Edinburgh 12-14 May.
NIACE has responded to announcements of public funding levels for further and high education in England during 2014/16, outlined in the Skills Funding Statement and the annual grant letter to the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).
Following the announcements, NIACE’s Chief Executive, David Hughes, said:
Quick Reads, the books written by well-known authors for less confident readers, have had an overwhelmingly positive impact on learners’ confidence, their attitudes to reading and on their literacy skills. This is according to NIACE’s latest impact evaluation of the effectiveness of Quick Reads as part of adult literacy learning, which is published today, to coincide with the publication of six new Quick Reads titles.
NIACE hosted the first webinar with the new Chief Executive of the Education and Training Foundation, David Russell, exploring ways to make the sector’s workforce more professional whilst keeping learners’ experiences central.
Facilitated by David Hughes, NIACE’s Chief Executive, the interactive webinar gave education, training and skills providers the chance to:
NIACE has hosted a series of events - Learning for social inclusion - to help providers understand how community-based learning can better contribute to the delivery of local strategic priorities.
The events highlighted and shared good practice and lessons from Community Learning Innovation Fund (CLIF) projects, and also gave participants:
There has been a substantial fall of almost 200k learners in participation in publicly-funded adult learning in England in the first quarter of the 2013/14 academic year compared to the same period last year, according to provisional data released.
The provisional figures from the Statistical First Release show that 1,475,600 people over 19 took part in government-funded further education in the first quarter of the 2013/14 academic year, compared to 1,674,800 in 2012/13.
More detailed figures include:
The publication, today, of the Employer Skills Survey from UKCES has reinforced some of NIACE’s concerns about current skills training for adults. NIACE Chief Executive, David Hughes, said:
“This survey reinforces our concerns about handing over the ownership of the entire skills system to employers. To have a vibrant and effective skills system that meets the needs of business and wider society, it has to be led by a partnership of employers, learners and Government and must balance their interests.
Stories of remarkable people and organisations, who have used learning to transform their lives and the lives of others, are invited to be part of the country’s largest festival and celebration of learning. Today is your last chance to nominate projects, providers, employers and individuals for NIACE’s Adult Learners’ Week Awards.
Adult Learners’ Week is expanding in 2014 to be the biggest and best it has been in its 22 year history. The Week itself, taking place between 14 - 20 June 2014, will be the culmination of weeks of celebration, illustrating how adult learning has a positive and dynamic impact on people, the economy and society.
Recent policy, research and practice on supporting adults who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, to access and sustain opportunities to learn and get back into work, will be shared at NIACE’s first joint national conference with Homeless Link on 20 March in London.
When people have the opportunity to learn in their own communities, it helps them make positive changes for themselves and their families and take control of their lives. This is the headline finding of a research report by NIACE reviewing the Community Learning Innovation Fund (CLIF) which was launched by the Skills Funding Agency in May 2012.
NIACE’s research shows that nine out of ten individuals who took part in learning as a result of the CLIF now intend to get a job, volunteer, and/or to continue learning.