Welcome to the website technicaleducationmatters.org

I have created this site covering a range of topics that will hopefully convey the history and the current importance of technical and vocational education from a number of different perspectives. I hope it will prove of interest and value to students, researchers and people who are associated with this important sector of education and training.

The website is a free resource. All I ask is that the source is referenced if used. Some of the material is written from a personal viewpoint reflecting my experiences gained as a student in Further Education and a long career working in the FE sector.

I have always believed that the Further Education (FE) Sector is the closest example of a truly comprehensive sector of education. Technical Education is a strategically important part of the education system especially at a time of massive transformations occurring globally. The history and commentary on various aspects of technical and vocational education attempt to identify why it is still perceived in a negative way in spite of innumerable initiatives and government pronouncements over many decades. The FE sector has been referred to as the Cinderella sector often with good cause. The material on this site attempts to record and reflect on a number of issues that have influenced and shaped technical and vocational education. Much of the material catalogues a series of misguided political initiatives, false dawns and missed opportunities which sadly continue even today. It also highlights initiatives through the centuries which have been pivotal in putting technical education in this country on the map at all. I strongly believe that one must understand history and attempt to learn from the lessons if one is to improve the situation in the future. Sadly generations of politicians have consistently ignored these lessons preferring to recreate the mistakes of the past – this is most certainly true where technical and vocational education and training are concerned. Some of the content will be controversial and I hope it will provoke constructive argument and debate.

Some of the materials in earlier versions (2003+) have appeared in  ‘t’ magazine and on their website (www.tmag.co.uk). ( Sadly ‘t’ magazine no longer exists). In addition to the histories, biographies and pen portraits, glossaries, chronologies I have included a number of articles and viewpoints on technical, commercial and vocational education and training. Also a series of statistical information on the topic and its institutions is included.
The site will be constantly expanded and updated.

Feedback would be welcome, email any comments to:


Dr Richard Evans FInst.P. FCGI. FInstLM  CompCIPHE

May 2009+

Last updated November 2013.


Recent Additions:
‘An Equation I Cannot Balance’
‘To learn or not to learn’
> ‘Youth Matters’
>The Challenges of Introducing Environmental Issues into the Skills Agenda
>Functional Skills and Apprenticeships
>Why No Licence to Practice. An Historical Perspective
Biographies and Pen Portraits:
>Harriet Martineau 
>Great Engineers and Pioneers and their Education’
> Polytechnic Institutions of London
>Trade Schools in England
Academic vs. Vocational Debate Revisited
>The Importance of WRL for All
>The Richard Review of Apprenticeships
>The TechBacc-What Chance of Success?
>Inhibitors to Implementation of the Skills Agenda
August 2013
Print Friendly, PDF & Email