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According to the Centre for Social Justice’s (CSJ) The Future of Work: A Vision for the National Retraining Scheme report in February 2019, upskilling workers could grow the economy by £125 billion. However, the UK has fewer employees participating in vocational training than the EU average. Just one in ten workers are currently studying for a nationally recognised qualification, while investment in skills training from employers has dropped by 25 per cent in the past decade.
To support the continued development and implementation of technical and vocational education reform across the UK, the Department for Education (DfE) released their updated T Level Action Plan in December 2018. The plan outlined that the first three T levels, Digital, Construction and Education and Childcare would be delivered from September 2020 by a small number of high performing providers across the country. This would be followed by Health and Science being rolled out in September 2021. The report further outlined details on T Level design and structure, assessment timings, progression to and from T Levels and grading certifications. In addition, DfE set out its first initiative to boost teaching skills ahead of T Level roll-out in November 2018, setting aside £8 million worth of funding for teaching professionals to participate in the new T Level Professional Development Programme to support their skills and knowledge development before 2020. In January 2019, the Institute for Apprenticeships took formal reasonability for the rollout of T-Levels, becoming the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (the Institute). This was followed by the government announcing a £38 million Capital Fund for the first further education T-Level providers to build new classrooms and upgrade their equipment to improve the sectors readiness to deliver the new qualifications from September 2020. Further developments were made in February 2019, when the DfE and the Institute awarded the contracts to develop, deliver and award the first three T Levels have been awarded, this was followed by the government naming 12 “Institutes of Technology” across England to provide high-quality skills training.
The onus now falls onto the Further Education sector to adapt to these vocational reforms and effectively prepare for the upcoming roll out of T-Level across the UK. It is vital that technical training providers, awarding organisations, employers and FE colleges all come together to establish and delivery high-quality vocational education, not just for young people but also current employees. Failure to do so could have a negative effect not just on the further education sector, but also the UK economy.
This one day forum will provide participants with the opportunity to examine the government’s latest strategies and funding initiatives designed to improve technical and vocational education across the further education sector. Attendees will hear from the Department of Education, Institute of Apprenticeships and Ofqual on the implementation of the new T-Level qualifications and the Capital Fund to boost providers readiness to deliver them by September 2020. In addition, leading further education providers will share best practice guidance on how to deliver outstanding further education in light of recent and upcoming education reforms including designing engaging curricula to ensuring outstanding teaching and learning standards.
Key speakers include:
• Andrew Fisher, T Level Development, Technical Education Implementation Division, Department for Education (DfE)
• Carmel Grant, Deputy Director – Technical Education Implementation & Delivery, Institute of Apprenticeships and Technical Education
• Lucy Sydney, Director of Strategic Relationships for VTQ, Ofqual
• Kirsti Lord, Deputy Chief Executive, Association of Colleges (AoC).
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