New report published on reforming technical and professional education

By: Esme Winch

Managing Director

Thursday 16 March 2017


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This NCFE-sponsored report, published with the Campaign for Learning and written by independent policy consultant Mick Fletcher, raises important questions for the roll-out of the Post-16 Skills Plan and for the reforms to technical education more broadly. The report, entitled “Reforming Technical and Professional Education: Why should it work this time?” includes nine recommendations of activity that the government should undertake if it is to achieve its aims.

At NCFE, we believe that the principles behind the reforms outlined in the Post-16 Skills Plan are admirable; aligning the skills system to the needs of employers, eliminating ‘low value’ qualifications, and ensuring financial sustainability of the system. The promise to develop ‘a high quality technical option’ that would have equal status with the academic route, and increase the numbers engaged with technical education, is very attractive and we are hopeful that the new T-Levels will help to deliver on this promise.

However, it is in the implementation of these policies that we have concerns about the potentially negative impacts on learners, educators and employers, as well as whether the government will in fact be successful, as these types of promises have been made before.

In writing this paper, Mick has set out nine recommendations that would broaden and strengthen the currency of technical and professional education, and would ultimately help learners to achieve their career goals.

Contributing to the success of learners and enabling them to reach their full potential is extremely important to us here at NCFE. It is in the interest of all parties that reforming technical and professional education works this time around, so we hope that the government considers the recommendations included in this paper, and really listens to our sector. This will ensure that its actions are aligned to the needs of learners, educators and employers.

If you would like to comment on the content of this paper or discuss this topic further, please get in touch by emailing [email protected].

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