Posts By: Richard

The Further Education Unit (FEU)

Founded in 1977 the Further Education Unit with Geoff Melling its first chairman when Geoff returned to the inspectorate Jack Mansell was then appointed in 1980 to head up the Unit and soon proved to be an excellent director having an in-depth knowledge of the FE sector.  The purpose of the Unit was to advise… 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 »

Recommendations of the Select Committee on Scientific Instruction 1867-1868

The Select Committee on Scientific Instruction deliberated and met from 1867 to 1868 and reported in July 1868. It concluded with a series of conclusions including: Effecient elementary instruction should be available to every child to enable the working class to benefit from scientific instruction. In order for this to be effective, regular attendance of… Read more »

The Future Shape of Work?

At this time of continuing financial crisis, high youth unemployment and ever accelerating technological advance the issues associated with the shape of work and the workforce in the future and its implications for education and training have never been so important.  The reality is that employment and employability are changing at an accelerating rate. Over… Read more »

Why No Licence to Practise?

I would like to focus on three inter- related issues namely the existence of rogue traders and training providers and the reluctance of this country to introduce a licence to work for a number of occupations. These issues have sadly created an unfair and negative view of a number of professional trades including, construction, hairdressing,… Read more »

Thomas Huxley (1825-1895)

Thomas Huxley (1825-1895). Author, Biologist, Educator and Research Scientist. Thomas Huxley was born in Ealing in 1825 son of a mathematics teacher. Mainly self taught he began a medical apprenticeship and soon won a scholarship to the Charing Cross Hospital where he gained an MB degree in 1845 from University of London. At the age… Read more »

The Importance of Apprenticeships

There’s still a great deal of empty rhetoric about the urgent need to rebalance the country’s economy but so far little evidence of any real long term action. The politicians have fixated on the need to re-establish an effective manufacturing base neglecting or avoiding the other equally important aspects that caused the problems in the… Read more »

Yet Another Report!

The recently published Perkins Report (1) highlights again the woeful state of the supply of qualified people especially females into engineering and the manufacturing industries. As usual it is a worthy and at times an insightful document but it joins innumerable ones addressing the same issue published over many decades. This country shows very few… Read more »

Rebalancing the Economy

What are the key elements for rebalancing the economy of this country?  A great deal has been said about one essential element namely the restructuring and rebalancing of the manufacturing base of the country. Although this is a crucial element there are other equally and challenging aspects after the disastrous situation following the financial crisis of… Read more »