ROUTES TO HIGH-LEVEL SKILLS

ROUTES TO HIGH-LEVEL SKILLS
October 13, 2018 dmh

Incentivising even closer working between universities, colleges, and employers would bring significant benefits to our economy says University UK. This report calls for the National Careers Service in schools and colleges to do more but this vital careers support service for young people disappeared when contracts ended in September 2018.

https://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/policy-and-analysis/reports/Pages/Routes-to-high-level-skills.aspx

According to a new report – Routes to high-level skills – published on 8th October 2018 by Universities UK, policymakers should look to build on existing partnerships to give more students the skills they and employers need.

It states: “As set out in the latest UK government’s careers strategy for England ‘Making the most of everyone’s skills and talents’, the National Careers Service must also proactively raise awareness of new routes to HE and career and skills development – among young people in schools and colleges, and adults in the workplace. It must provide appropriate information, advice and guidance to enable individuals to make informed choices about the best route for them. This could help partnerships understand barriers to participation better and design tailored provision accordingly.” (p.2). BUT, the National Careers Service no longer has a contract from Government to deliver IAG in schools and colleges! This is in stark contrast to National Careers Services in Scotland, Wales and N.Ireland.

Around 41% of courses currently offered by universities have a technical, professional or vocational focus. A series of case studies in the report show how colleges and universities are already sharing funding, resources, and staff expertise.

While universities and further education colleges will continue to offer distinct courses and skills training, the need for closer working between them and local employers will become increasingly important as demand for people of all ages with higher level skills continues to grow, particularly at Levels 4 and 5 (foundation degree, higher national diploma, and higher national certificate).

While universities and further education colleges will continue to offer distinct courses and skills training, the need for closer working between them and local employers will become increasingly important as demand for people of all ages with higher level skills continues to grow, particularly at Levels 4 and 5 (foundation degree, higher national diploma, and higher national certificate).

The total number of part-time students in higher and further education and with alternative providers has fallen from 539,645 in 2013/14 to 476,910 in 2016/17.

Alistair Jarvis, Chief Executive of Universities UK, said policymakers need to find ways to develop better local links. He said:

This report shows that colleges and universities across the country are sharing expertise and resources to provide courses that employers want. This is very different to the perception that they operate in isolation. The debate shouldn’t be about further versus higher education. Government, funders and regulators should focus on building strong local links, not seeing an unreal divide.

“There has been a worrying drop in part-time and mature study numbers, when our economy needs more of them. We must develop policies to make part-time study more appealing, upskilling easier and encourage lifelong learning among our ageing population. Incentivising even closer working between universities, colleges and employers can help us achieve these aims.”

See also: https://www.fenews.co.uk/press-releases/79-sp-821/20584-pitting-universities-against-colleges-won-t-deliver-skilled-workforce 

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