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Our investments and partnerships

Learning For Work 3 Women Working At A Computer (Resized)

Our vision is of a world where everyone has the opportunity, means and motivation to access the highest quality learning. We firmly believe that in a sector that is constantly changing, we must help to shape this change and improve the education system through a collaborative and transformative outlook.  

This is why we strive to go beyond awarding qualifications, to continually invest in, and partner with organisations who share our desire to be positive disruptors and can support our purpose to promote and advance learning for all individuals. 

Brands within NCFE

Active IQ (AIQ)

In November 2022, we were delighted to acquire Active IQ – an awarding organisation and apprenticeship end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) focused on qualifications and career pathways in the physical activity and wellness sector.

Between NCFE and Active IQ, there is a real, deep-rooted alignment in our vision and purpose. Both organisations share a mission and core purpose to change lives through education, making a difference for those who matter most – our beneficiaries. Active IQ, like NCFE, also prides itself on exceptional customer service and high-quality, transformational learning experiences that lead to real career outcomes.

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brands within ncfe

Campaign for Learning 

Since 2020, the independent educational charity Campaign for Learning has formed part of NCFE. As champions of the value of lifelong learning, there is a natural synergy with the core purpose of both organisations.

Our investment ensures that we can work together with Campaign for Learning as they continue to deliver highly impactful campaigns, training programmes, research projects and policy work. For example, the charity recently published an insightful policy paper, Expanding childcare: time for children, parents and family learning featuring the expert voices of 18 leading stakeholders and thinkers across the sector.

Campaign for Learning coordinates Learning at Work Week, which promotes a culture of learning at work and is marked by employers across the country. They also deliver the national Family Learning Festival in October each year, a large-scale national celebration to mark and inspire a love of learning in family life. They launched the National Centre for Family Learning in November 2022, a free association for professionals working with families in any learning context supporting the development of children, young people and families.

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Association of Colleges (AoC)

The Research Further initiative supports, drives and encourages college-centred research that can help influence parity and practice. Scholars are part of a supportive community of peers and share their findings with the sector through online articles and webinars.

Think Further is a thought-leadership initiative that offers a platform for the FE sector to provide deep insight and informed debate on a range of topics. It brings together research-led think pieces and blogs steeped in the experience and expertise of the further education and skills sector.

Launched in 2020 and led by the University of Derby, the Valuing Enrichment Project aims to bridge the evidence gap surrounding the value of enrichment in post-16 education and advocate for improved funding and recognition. The research highlights the diversity of enrichment activities and their positive impact on learners, as well as the benefits for providers. 

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WorldSkills UK 

It’s not possible to have world-class education without world-class educators. With that in mind, we’ve collaborated with WorldSkills UK to create the innovative Centre of Excellence programme to advance vocational learning practice. Launched at the height of the pandemic, in just three years it’s reached over 40,000 young people and 2,000 educators across all four nations of the UK. 

Following the highly successful pilot and further investment, the Centre of Excellence has now expanded, with more than 140,000 young people and nearly 5,000 educators set to benefit from this first-of-its-kind initiative over the next three years. Alongside FE Colleges, all independent training providers and Higher Educational Institutions throughout the UK are now able to join.

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Ufi VocTech Trust 

When people thrive in work, everybody benefits, so Ufi VocTech Trust champion the power of technology to improve skills for work and deliver better outcomes for all. They do this by providing investment, grant funding, advocacy and support for the development and deployment of vocational technology across all parts of the UK skills system. They have a particular role in unlocking potential in the communities, sectors, skill levels and places currently underserved by mainstream provision, helping ensure everyone is included and no one is left behind.

Together, NCFE and Ufi will foster innovation and advance learning around the role technology can play in creating assessment methods and models that can adapt and respond to the needs of the changing UK economy and help get more adults learning. 

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social investments

Our Assessment Innovation Fund

We’re on a mission to break boundaries in assessment with our £1 million Assessment Innovation Fund initiative, which is helping to pilot innovative new assessment ideas.

As the pace of change in the world increases – particularly due to disruptive new technologies, major societal trends and global turbulence – the needs of the labour market continue to rapidly evolve. By looking at the future of assessment and identifying the key ingredients to deliver maximum value to learners on the greatest possible scale, we can help to create a system that is transformational for learners in technical and vocational education.

We’re working with organisations of all types and sizes who’ve proposed innovations that focus on assessment that will build trust and confidence and add value to all stakeholders including learners, educators, employers and government. The Sheffield College, Runway Training, University of Newcastle (Australia) are among successful applicants that we’re working with.

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2022 AIF pilots

social investments

Good for ME Good for FE

Launched in July 2021, Good for ME Good for FE is a unique social impact project which encourages staff and students to undertake a wide range of volunteering and fundraising activities. Over half of all FE colleges in the country have since signed up, helping to generate over £1m of social value.

We’re proud to partner with London South East Colleges and our initial investment secured the project’s long-term sustainability and helped develop this pioneering initiative through a pilot. Good for ME Good for FE’s vision strongly aligns with our core purpose. We believe that by working in collaboration, we can provide more social action opportunities for learners who would not otherwise have access to them, ensuring that no learner is left behind.

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Good for ME Good for FE logo

social investments

Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network

Data released by the Office for National Statistics in 2021 showed that only 22% of autistic adults are in any kind of employment. The National Autistic Society states that 60% of employers are worried about getting support for an autistic employee wrong, and the same proportion didn't know where to go for help or advice about employing an autistic person

That’s why we partnered with the Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network (GMLPN) in 2021. As a network of over 115 training providers, including independent, FE colleges, universities, and voluntary providers, it works to achieve closer alignment between the needs of employers, individuals, communities, and the suppliers of skills.

Together we've launched a new project to increase apprenticeship opportunities for autistic young people, helping to equip them with the technical and employability skills to progress into employment and improve the links between schools/colleges, training providers, referral agencies and employers to improve progression routes.

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The Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network logo


CACHE Alumni

​​​​​​​CACHE Alumni is a free professional membership service for the care, health and education sectors powered by NCFE. Whether users are an experienced practitioner, learner, educator, job seeker, employer or someone with an interest in joining the caring sector, CACHE Alumni members get access to content, tools and resources to help achieve learning, career and business goals.

Member benefits include insightful articles from sector experts, free career advice and guidance, continuing professional development (CPD), job search and qualification finder and member events and discounts.

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Movements need collaborators

if you’re interested in combining ambition with the scale and determination to make an impact, get in touch with us at [email protected]