“Don`t assume all training “is a good thing”. Find out what really works, “ says Professor Tom Schuller

“Don`t assume all training “is a good thing”. Find out what really works, “ says Professor Tom Schuller

There are more job vacancies in England but we`re not generating the skills to fill them, that was the essential message from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills in their latest survey.

According to the Commission`s press release “A sharp rise in skills shortages could be holding back the UK’s economic recovery……The report from the government’s skills experts, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, finds that the number of job vacancies in England has returned to pre-recession levels. However, so-called “skills shortage vacancies” – where businesses cannot find recruits with the skills required – are growing twice as fast. “

“The report also finds that

  • Skills shortages are much more prevalent in      some occupations and sectors than others – for example, in skilled trades      such as plumbing and in health and social care.
  • The density of skills shortages varies across      the UK, being most acute in Scotland, where 25% of vacancies are caused by      skills shortages, and less of a problem in Northern Ireland, where they      account for 19% of vacancies.
  • Nearly half of employers across the UK (48%)      admit they recruit people with higher levels of skills and knowledge than      required for the job.
  • The number of establishments providing      training for their staff is back to pre-recession levels, although the      amount spent on training has decreased from £1,680 per employee in 2011 to      £1,590 in 2013.
  • Only a minority of business are prepared to give education leavers their first      job, but when they do, they find their new recruits are generally      well-prepared for work. College leavers are reported as more “work ready”      than school leavers of the same age. “

The Education and Training Foundation and Ofsted have also published what they regard as excellent practice in vocational teaching and learning from across the vocational education and training  system.

Ten case studies have been released on the Ofsted website highlighting  some of the distinctive features of good vocational teaching, learning and leadership as selected by representatives from the Commission on Adult Vocational Teaching and Learning (CAVTL), Ofsted, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, and the Institute of Education in London.

The case studies were compiled in response to It`s About Work,  CAVTL`s report on excellent vocational teaching and learning which identifies four key characteristics:

  • Line of sight to work
  • Delivered by dual professional staff who have expertise both in the vocation and in teaching
  • Industry standard facilities
  • An escalator to higher levels of learning

Professor Tom Schuller, Director of Longview, which promotes longitudinal study, comments:

“We know that we need to pay much more attention to the quality and effectiveness of vocational training, rather than assume that all training is ‘a good thing’. These case studies should help focus attention on what really works, and will be of practical assistance to other colleges in planning and developing their provision. Building up a systematic stock of such case studies will be an invaluable resource.”



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