Posts By: Richard

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 »

Plumbing Matters!

A campaign about the importance of the qualifications and standards associated with training for plumbing and other equally important practically-orientated occupations is urgently needed. The title above is not empty sloganising; after all the mantra ‘water is dangerous’  has significant meaning bearing in mind the deaths and serious accidents each year from scalding, legionnaire’s disease… Read more »

Informal Vocational Learning

Learning occurs everywhere and at all times people acquire new skills, knowledge and competences just by the virtue of one’s existence i.e. it is truly inclusive. Learning can occur in a number of different ways largely determined by the context, resources available whether they are physical, human or financial. The OECD identifies three kinds of… Read more »

Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) and Enterprise Skills

Definitions: IAG:  Information, Advice and Guidance is a range of services including the provision of impartial, learner-centred, advice and guidance, to assist in making appropriate career decisions and choices, which are informed and well thought through. It enables people to apply their knowledge, understanding, skills and experiences to manage their career and make informed decisions… Read more »

Statistics for Technical and Commercial Examinations.

Updated May 2017. In this section a miscellany of information by way of facts and figures provides additional detail on technical and commercial examinations to reinforce material in the other sections of this website. The material will where possible be provided in chronological order. I hope readers will find the information of interest. I have also… Read more »

The TechBacc – What Chance of Success?

The latest attempt to introduce a vocational and occupational qualification, the Technical Baccalaureate (TechBacc), has been announced to begin in September 2014 and results will be reported in the performance tables in 2017. As usual the initiative is launched with all the usual political hype and well worn rhetoric – namely it will be an… Read more »

Inhibitors to Implementing the Skills Agenda

As a result of the current financial crisis many countries are now considering how to rejuvenate and rebalance their economies. New paradigms need to be developed which in turn will create many difficult challenges for governments and the education system. Many of these issues are associated with the quality and quantity of human capital in… Read more »