Filter the Blog



Could a new localism lead to the creativity and innovation needed in our sector?
6 November 2014 by David Hughes

Could a new localism lead to the creativity and innovation needed in our sector?

For a while I thought that the devolution debate, which flared up around the time of the referendum in Scotland, would sneak into the background. And then the Chancellor announced that Greater Manchester was set for...Read more »

5 November 2014 by Damon Gibbons

High cost credit is part of the problem not the solution

Damon Gibbons of Centre for Responsible Credit, responds to ResPublica report on payday lending This Monday saw the publication of a new report from ResPublica: ‘Climbing the credit ladder: short term loans as a path to long...Read more »

How Winchester University supports care leavers to succeed
31 October 2014 by Laina Knight

How Winchester University supports care leavers to succeed

There are many care leavers who, with the right support and guidance from learning providers and social services staff, gain a degree. The latest in our series of blogs for National Care Leavers Week is an...Read more »

Hampshire County Council’s route to progression for young adult care leavers
28 October 2014 by Jude Robinson

Hampshire County Council’s route to progression for young adult care leavers

Continuing our series of blogs for National Care Leavers Week, Jude Robinson, Service Manager for Children’s Services at Hampshire County Council, outlines what is being done to ensure that young people leaving the care of the local authority have the best possible chance of progressing positively into further learning or employment.

How pathway planning helps care-leavers to learn
27 October 2014 by Amy

How pathway planning helps care-leavers to learn

In the first of a series of blogs for National Care Leavers Week, we hear from Amy, a care-leaver from the south-east of England, who is currently studying for a Masters Degree.  I was taken into...Read more »

Great progress but the real work starts now
8 October 2014 by Rachel Marvin

Great progress but the real work starts now

We leave the Lib Dem Conference in Glasgow with renewed vigour, as the curtain falls on the 2014 Party Conference season. Overall, it’s been a positive week, with great evidence that NIACE’s Manifesto is gaining good...Read more »

7 October 2014 by Guest Blogger

Literacy is a fundamental right

A version of this column was originally published in The Municipal Journal on 24 September 2014.

Job-filling and the recovery
4 October 2014 by Paul Bivand

Job-filling and the recovery

Paul Bivand examines recent trends in job-finding and how far the recovery has yet to go. Over the recession and the recovery, job-finding rates for the unemployed, inactive and the employed have moved in the...Read more »

What does ‘more’ mean during an extended period of austerity?
2 October 2014 by Rachel Marvin

What does ‘more’ mean during an extended period of austerity?

Personally, I love the buzz of Party Conferences – they’re noisy, busy, cramped and there are always too many things going on at once and many fascinating discussions to be had during the long days. The downside is they’re amongst the worse places on earth to actually concentrate and think – which is scary, as it’s usually where I am when I’m asked to quickly formulate a sensible view on a brand new policy I’ve never heard of before.

Miliband’s missing words and why they matter
24 September 2014 by Rachel Marvin

Miliband’s missing words and why they matter

Many column inches have been expended since it was revealed that the speech delivered by Ed Miliband on Tuesday was not the one he originally intended to give. Before you switch off – I can assure...Read more »

Feeling optimistic about our messages following the Labour Party Conference
23 September 2014 by David Hughes

Feeling optimistic about our messages following the Labour Party Conference

I always seem to leave Manchester in the sun and it’s happened again as I leave the Labour Party Conference after a couple of fascinating days. We were there to promote our manifesto for a truly...Read more »

LEPs can help provide pathways to technology careers
22 September 2014 by Guest Blogger

LEPs can help provide pathways to technology careers

Column originally published in the Local Government Chronicle on 9 September 2014. In early 2014 NIACE published groundbreaking research on its work with a number of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) employers in...Read more »

Are employment/inactivity rates near records? Paul Bivand looks at the figures a little more closely
15 September 2014 by Paul Bivand

Are employment/inactivity rates near records? Paul Bivand looks at the figures a little more closely

Last month’s employment rate at 73.0% is slightly lower than July’s record, and the inactivity rate at 21.9% is slightly higher than July as well. But, these figures are not the highest published working age figure – that...Read more »

Too many good reports?
8 September 2014 by David Hughes

Too many good reports?

Are there too many reports setting out the challenges we face in learning and skills and the solutions we need to put into action? Yesterday was a great example of this, with four reports – from...Read more »

MPs endorse NIACE’s manifesto during adult learning debate
4 September 2014 by Rachel Marvin

MPs endorse NIACE’s manifesto during adult learning debate

Just a few days into my new role as Assistant Director of Policy and Public Affairs, I’m very pleased to pen my first blog at NIACE. It’s also a great opportunity to note my delight at...Read more »

New report on improving ESOL provision making headlines
18 August 2014 by Alex Stevenson

New report on improving ESOL provision making headlines

It’s not often that ESOL hits the headlines, but last night’s BBC Newsnight provided a welcome focus in the mainstream media on ESOL provision and its importance for the one million or so people in England and Wales believed not to speak English fluently.

How can the FE and skills sector prepare for a digital future?
13 August 2014 by Rhian Short

How can the FE and skills sector prepare for a digital future?

  • What skills do future workers need in order for the UK to be globally competitive?
  • How are we teaching learners in a way that inspires and prepares them for careers in the future workforce in occupations that may not yet exist?

The benefit cap is not working – cutting it further is not the answer
11 August 2014 by Tony Wilson

The benefit cap is not working – cutting it further is not the answer

The benefit cap has always been a solution looking for a problem, and today’s headlinessuggest that Policy Exchange want to widen that search. The cap isn’t cutting benefit spending. The latest government figures suggest that the cap has reduced welfare...Read more »

NIACE Learner Ambassador’s drive to commemorate WWI in Brighton
5 August 2014 by Carol Taylor

NIACE Learner Ambassador’s drive to commemorate WWI in Brighton

Amanda Scales won our Outstanding Adult Learner of the Year in the South-East in 2012. As with all of our national award winners, she was remarkable and it was obvious from the first time I met...Read more »

Towards a Citizens’ Curriculum
29 July 2014 by Alex Stevenson

Towards a Citizens’ Curriculum

What kind of adult learning opportunities would engage and support the most disadvantaged people, in a range of settings and circumstances? What kinds of adult learning could empower adults to take greater control over their lives,...Read more »

Labour localism plans are not without risk
29 July 2014 by Guest Blogger

Labour localism plans are not without risk

Column originally published in the Local Government Chronicle on 16 July 2014. This month saw the announcement of Labour’s growth review by Lord Adonis including key proposals on growth, learning and skills. ...Read more »

13 July 2014 by Guest Blogger

Addressing complacency around accessing education

“What did you do at school today?” The resounding silence will be all too familiar to many parents and carers with school-aged children in the UK. There are many reasons why children may not be able...Read more »

Adult Learners’ Week events in Stoke Golding
10 July 2014 by Steve Smithers

Adult Learners’ Week events in Stoke Golding

Adult Learners’ Week 2014 was bigger and better than ever – as the culmination of a two-month long Festival of Learning, it saw over 4,000 learning events and tasters take place across England and Wales.

23 June 2014 by Guest Blogger

Looks like more support for all adults to achieve fuller working lives

I’m naturally curious. There is always another question to ask, more to find out and extra detail to understand. Some of my earliest memories are of taking alarm clocks to pieces and ending up with a...Read more »

Building the STEM careers of the future
23 June 2014 by Guest Blogger

Building the STEM careers of the future

Column originally published in The Municipal Journal on 10 June 2014. In early 2014, NIACE published groundbreaking research illustrating how the learning and skills sector is going to have to change the way it works –...Read more »

Adult Learners’ Week 2014 – what next?
19 June 2014 by Guest Blogger

Adult Learners’ Week 2014 – what next?

Just over a year ago I wrote this blog after our 2013 Adult Learners’ Week campaign, arguing that we needed to become “multi-lingual” in reshaping our arguments for the dramatic impact adult learning and skills have on UK economic growth and society.

Give LEPs the tools they need to do the job
4 June 2014 by Guest Blogger

Give LEPs the tools they need to do the job

Column originally published in the Local Government Chronicle on 22 May 2014. Three big reports on local enterprise partnerships hit the headlines recently with some interesting findings for all of us involved in the...Read more »

New solutions for tackling skills shortages
6 May 2014 by Guest Blogger

New solutions for tackling skills shortages

Column originally published in The Municipal Journal on 23 April 2014. A new SOLACE report on local economic growth confirmed over 75% of chief executives see this as the top priority for their localities. With a...Read more »

The rebirth of LEPs is under way
24 April 2014 by Guest Blogger

The rebirth of LEPs is under way

There is no shortage of headlines in LEP land at the moment. Some in local government were writing the obituaries of LEPs before Christmas but recent events seem to suggest a “re-birth” now in the offing.

What chances do young adult care leavers have in education and work?
15 April 2014 by Guest Blogger

What chances do young adult care leavers have in education and work?

When I was at school, aged 17, trying to make decisions about going on to university or leaving and finding work, there was little offered in the way of careers advice or support, and times were much more buoyant then.

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