Posts By: Richard

Richard Trevithick (1771-1833).

Richard Trevithick, (image shown opposite), deserves a place alongside the other pioneers of steam engine developments like Thomas Newcomen and James Watt. He is credited with inventing the first high-pressured steam engine and the first operational steam locomotive (1803). He was born in Carn Brea in Cornwall which was at the centre of the then thriving… Read more »

Eleanor Marx (1855-1898)

Eleanor Marx was a remarkable individual who contributed to a number of causes and influenced not only her own generation but later ones. She was the youngest daughter of Karl Marx, born in London on 16th January 1855. By the time Eleanor was sixteen she acted as her father’s secretary, accompanying him to international conferences… Read more »

The Factory Acts

  The period of the Industrial Revolution witnessed unprecedented changes and transitions in society. Massive numbers of people moved from the country to the emerging industrial cities and towns. People who previously worked on the land or in cottage industries (e.g. hand spinning and weaving) became workers in factories undertaking largely non-skilled manual jobs. The… Read more »

The City and Guilds TechBac

  The City and Guilds Institute of London (CGLI) has developed a new qualification namely a TechBac. Everyone interested in education knows that the current education and training system is failing to deliver the skills needed for employment and the workplace. There is now a consensus amongst educationists, employers, parents and students that the curriculum… 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 »

Work Experience and Employability – Key Elements.

  The value of work experience at all levels of the education system has long been acknowledged although many employers, employer groups and universities have not been fully convinced or supportive of work based learning. Even today there is continued resistance, albeit thankfully now declining, to work experience programmes. Over the years universities and a… Read more »