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One year on: what’s happening with the Apprenticeship Levy?
6 April 2018 by Stephen Evans

One year on: what’s happening with the Apprenticeship Levy?

The Apprenticeship Levy is now one year old. That’s long enough to gain some insight into its effects, though too early to make a full judgment. Some argue that large drops in apprenticeship starts are evidence...Read more »

Can greater access to learning opportunities for young adult carers help combat social inequality?
15 March 2018 by Guest Blogger

Can greater access to learning opportunities for young adult carers help combat social inequality?

The Positive Transitions—Supporting Young Adult Carers in Learning and Work conference provided ample opportunity for rich conversation amongst it’s attendees. While the highlight of the event was the notable presence of HRH The Princess Royal, Learning...Read more »

We are sacrificing our education and future for the short-term help of the Carer’s Allowance
15 March 2018 by Guest Blogger

We are sacrificing our education and future for the short-term help of the Carer’s Allowance

Hello, my name is Lucy Prentice, I am 20 years old and a full-time carer for my mother.  I have been a carer since the age of 11 when my mother suffered a raptured brain aneurysm. ...Read more »

Stepping up: learning ‘what works’ to progress low paid workers
13 March 2018 by Hannah Murphy

Stepping up: learning ‘what works’ to progress low paid workers

While there is much to celebrate about the record high rates of employment, an increasing amount of attention is being paid to the types of employment that people are in. And rightly so, as people in...Read more »

Why it’s time to think differently about Entry Level English and maths
12 March 2018 by Alex Stevenson

Why it’s time to think differently about Entry Level English and maths

Blink and you may have missed it, but recently the Department for Education published a long-awaited (well, by me, anyway) longitudinal research study into adult English and maths.  We face a huge national challenge when it...Read more »

For me, and any carer, flexibility and support is a very important part of working and learning
9 March 2018 by Guest Blogger

For me, and any carer, flexibility and support is a very important part of working and learning

Apprenticeships are a key government policy to support transition to the labour market, social mobility, economic growth and improved productivity. While evidence shows that the benefits to apprentices, to businesses and to our wider economy and...Read more »

Guest blog: Apprenticeships at Together Housing
7 March 2018 by Guest Blogger

Guest blog: Apprenticeships at Together Housing

When I got into housing, 40 years ago, it was a different environment to the one we have today.  There were only a few Housing Associations, a reducing private rented sector and the main alternative to...Read more »

Will Universal Credit push claimant unemployment above 1.5 million? And if so, what do we do about it?
27 February 2018 by Tony Wilson

Will Universal Credit push claimant unemployment above 1.5 million? And if so, what do we do about it?

Last Wednesday’s employment figures were once again all (fairly) quiet on the jobs front.  As we reported, employment rose a bit, the numbers out of work fell a bit (with unemployment rising while ‘economic inactivity’ –...Read more »

Employment and pay – we delve into 5 years of data
19 February 2018 by Paul Bivand

Employment and pay – we delve into 5 years of data

Employers signal information to potential recruits in a number of ways. Firstly, whether they are recruiting at all, and the methods they use to advertise jobs. Secondly, the pay offered. The Office for National Statistics produces once a...Read more »

Social Mobility: Ending the opportunity gap
5 February 2018 by Stephen Evans

Social Mobility: Ending the opportunity gap

Tackling burning injustices was Theresa May’s call to arms when she became Prime Minister. Learning and Work Institute analysis shows that chances in life are still unfairly distributed. There are too many opportunity ‘not spots’ across...Read more »

Assessing the impact of employment support in Manchester
30 January 2018 by Paul Bivand

Assessing the impact of employment support in Manchester

Learning and Work Institute conducted an impact assessment for the Department of Work and Pensions of the early impacts of Greater Manchester’s Working Well pilot programme, which has recently been published. Working Well provides locally-designed employment...Read more »

“Don’t panic” or “we’re all doomed”? What do the latest apprenticeship figure tell us?
25 January 2018 by Stephen Evans

“Don’t panic” or “we’re all doomed”? What do the latest apprenticeship figure tell us?

“Don’t panic” or “we’re all doomed”? What do the latest apprenticeship figure tell us? New data shows the number of Apprenticeships fell 26% compared to the same time last year. This followed a 59% fall in...Read more »

Whatever happened to our vision of a learning society: The Learning Age 20 years on
9 January 2018 by Alan Tuckett

Whatever happened to our vision of a learning society: The Learning Age 20 years on

‘The Learning Age’, a Government Green Paper published in the 1990s, includes a preface by David Blunkett which offers a generous vision of the value of lifelong learning. Lord Blunkett recognises the role adult learning plays...Read more »

Reducing poverty and increasing skills: the role of in-work provision
8 December 2017 by Connor Stevens

Reducing poverty and increasing skills: the role of in-work provision

As seems to be post-2015 norm, it’s been an eventful week in the world of politics and, as usual, the rumblings-on of Brexit seems to have drowned out other important happenings… So just in case you...Read more »

Little people matter too
1 December 2017 by Guest Blogger

Little people matter too

As far as I know Victor Hugo never wrote an apprentice into the story of Les Miserables but whilst I was reading Apprentice Pay – sticking to the rules I couldn’t help humming a few lines...Read more »

Getting a fair deal for apprentices
29 November 2017 by Dr Fiona Aldridge

Getting a fair deal for apprentices

As part of last week’s Budget, the Chancellor accepted the recommendations from the independent Low Pay Commission and announced an increase in the national minimum wage for apprentices from £3.50 to £3.70 per hour from April...Read more »

Extra time on Universal Credit – but the problems are just beginning
23 November 2017 by Tony Wilson

Extra time on Universal Credit – but the problems are just beginning

On page 160 of the Office for Budget Responsibility’s Economic and Fiscal Outlook is what is becoming a very familiar chart.  It shows the latest forecast for Universal Credit rollout and how these forecasts have changed...Read more »

Will the Levy run dry?
17 November 2017 by Stephen Evans

Will the Levy run dry?

The Office for Budget Responsibility is going to significantly downgrade its forecasts for the potential of the economy to grow – its overall speed limit. This is because growth in productivity (the amount that each worker...Read more »

Reflections on the Annual English, Maths and ESOL Conference
16 November 2017 by Alex Stevenson

Reflections on the Annual English, Maths and ESOL Conference

Last week, Learning and Work’s annual conference on supporting adults with English, maths and ESOL took place at UCL Institute of Education.  This major event – organised in partnership with UCL IoE, RaPAL, NATECLA and UCU...Read more »

Supporting transitions from ESOL to apprenticeships
15 November 2017 by Elizabeth Davies

Supporting transitions from ESOL to apprenticeships

Last week’s Annual Conference on English, Maths and ESOL was a great opportunity to hear more about the good work that adult literacy, numeracy and ESOL practitioners do, and the benefits this can have for learners....Read more »

Fixing Universal Credit – where to start?
10 November 2017 by Guest Blogger

Fixing Universal Credit – where to start?

A couple of weeks ago, on this blog, Tony Wilson argued that it was “time to pause UC…slow down and be prepared to change course”. He raised the issues of slow processing times for Universal Credit...Read more »

Inspired to achieve – Care Leavers Week special blog
27 October 2017 by Guest Blogger

Inspired to achieve – Care Leavers Week special blog

My name is Sam. I was a care leaver in 2011 who arrived on the shores of Swansea – then the beloved Swansea Metropolitan, to study Education (and transition to become a Primary School Teacher). The...Read more »

Education moves you forward – Care Leavers Week special blog
25 October 2017 by Guest Blogger

Education moves you forward – Care Leavers Week special blog

My name is Habib Rezaie. I came to the UK from Afghanistan in 2006 at the age of 16, as an unaccompanied asylum-seeking child. At age 12 I lost both of my parents and went through...Read more »

Providing tailored positive careers guidance to carers
24 October 2017 by Charlotte Robey

Providing tailored positive careers guidance to carers

Being involved in the Positive Career Choices work was really different.  I had never done anything like this before, and neither had the young people I support. It was really interesting.  We recruited a few champions...Read more »

How to ensure IAG for young adult carers is meaningful
24 October 2017 by Charlotte Robey

How to ensure IAG for young adult carers is meaningful

I would like to discuss the importance of information, advice and guidance around education and careers for young carers. Notice I haven’t said “tailored” in the above sentence? With good reason. It seems to me that...Read more »

More to do to engage adults with Advanced Learner Loans
23 October 2017 by Lauren Bennett

More to do to engage adults with Advanced Learner Loans

Although the recently published statistical first release on Further Education and Skills in England demonstrates concerning falls in apprenticeship starts and adult participation in Further Education including English and maths and Level 2 courses, there is...Read more »

Why we need to wake up to falling participation in adult basic skills
18 October 2017 by Alex Stevenson

Why we need to wake up to falling participation in adult basic skills

Normally, I’d rather watch an outstanding learner testimony to the impact of learning to read and write than delve into the 19+ English and maths participation statistics, but the most recent figures are compelling. Only not...Read more »

Are participation and achievement the same thing?
18 October 2017 by Mark Ravenhall

Are participation and achievement the same thing?

Last week’s further education statistics provided some thoughtful reading.  As a researcher who reads a lot of adult educational statistical reports from across Europe, I’m always impressed by the amount of statistical analysis we go into...Read more »

Apprenticeships Starts – The numbers behind the headlines
13 October 2017 by Paul Bivand

Apprenticeships Starts – The numbers behind the headlines

Unsurprisingly, yesterday’s apprenticeships data has made headlines for the wrong reasons – with 70,000 fewer people starting apprentices this summer compared with last summer.  As Stephen Evans said in his blog yesterday, it is too early...Read more »

Improving progressions from traineeships
13 October 2017 by Charlotte Robey

Improving progressions from traineeships

Data published this week show a dramatic fall in publicly funded adult learning. Headlines across the sector are focussing on the 61% drop in apprenticeship starts following the introduction of the Levy, but underneath this are...Read more »

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