Memories of Portsmouth College of Technology

Personal Note. Following the announcement of the reintroduction of grammar schools I thought a personal recollection of my experience of the 11+ and the selection system that resulted in the 1940/50/60s will highlight the real concerns I have on this divisive proposal. My first memory of Portsmouth College of Technology was in September 1959 climbing… Read more »

The Trailblazer Apprenticeship Programme – A Promising Initiative.

Apprenticeships still occupy a central part of the skills agenda, but will all this discussion bring about the high quality frameworks that are now urgently required? The main political drive seems to be to create large numbers of apprenticeships, but with little reference or debate about the quality and fitness for purpose of the programmes…. Read more »

The British Problem – Productivity and Manufacturing!

  (Productivity is a measure of the efficiency with which available resources are used in production). Current debates about rebalancing the economy and the ability of the country to compete in the global market constantly highlights the low current productivity levels in the manufacturing industry. The need to increase exports significantly in the future is… Read more »

Open Learning-Its Potential and Limitations

Open Learning – Its Potential and Limitations in Contributing to the Skills Agenda The advent of open learning systems (OLS) that utilise the advantages of the internet clearly offers many opportunities to widen participation in education and training and make a major contribution to lifelong learning. The associated technologies allow increased distribution and access opportunities… Read more »

The Future of the FE Sector is in Real Danger!

Yet again parliament is discussing the future of the Further Education Sector. During this period of austerity the topic is very much alive as the government tackles or should that be attacks public sector spending. FE has always been an easy target, little understood or given the recognition it deserves. Massive cuts are being introduced… Read more »

Is this a Weak Link?

One of the striking features of the secondary education system in England is the failure to introduce vocational elements into the curriculum. Successive attempts to create a long term and effective system including these elements have proved ineffective because of a whole series of factors, all of which have been discussed ad nauseam over many… Read more »

A Threat to Rebalancing the Economy?

A concern in many countries is the current and growing trend among young qualified people who decide to leave to seek employment in other countries as a consequence of the continuing recession and financial crisis. Many young people have become increasingly disillusioned after qualifying to find they are underemployed or unemployed. If this trend continues… Read more »

Re-balancing the Economy and the Skills Agenda

(A viewpoint jointly written by R Evans and A Rego. It reinforces many of the issues raised in other Parts of this website. I am very grateful to Artur for joining me writing this article as he brings a great deal of expertise and experience in examinations and assessments with City and Guilds across a… Read more »

The Crucial Importance of Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships and vocational education and training continue to appear on the political agenda but as so often occurs a number of policies are emanating from government that will impede their implementation. If the government is really committed to introducing a comprehensive high quality set of apprenticeship programmes then a totally new paradigm needs to be… Read more »

The Value of Qualifications and the Question of Parity of Esteem!

The Value of Qualifications and the Question of Parity of Esteem. The theme of this piece is as relevant to the plumbing profession as it is for all other vocational and technically orientated qualifications and occupations. It addresses the general perception that these qualifications are second-class and of low status when in fact they are… Read more »