Filter the Blog



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.

31 March 2014 by Guest Blogger

Come together for skills provision

Column originally published in The Municipal Journal on 18 March 2014. The fact that many of us breathed a collective sigh of relief when the recent Skills Funding Statement announced a cut of almost 20% to...Read more »

24 March 2014 by Guest Blogger

Skills partnerships have never been more important

Column originally published in the Local Government Chronicle on 10 March 2014. Three significant learning and skills developments will impact significantly on local economic regeneration. Latest participation data from the Skills Funding...Read more »

Don’t let your caring role stop you from achieving your goals
21 March 2014 by Matt

Don’t let your caring role stop you from achieving your goals

Guest blog from young adult carer, Matt, as part of NIACE’s WE Care project, which is exploring the support young adult carers require to make successful transitions into learning and work.

Time for us to show our skills
19 March 2014 by Guest Blogger

Time for us to show our skills

Column originally published in The Municipal Journal on 5 March 2014. I recently argued in these pages ‘what matters is what works’ in reforming the national learning and skills system. To address this challenge, rebalancing skills...Read more »

How can I help people to fly?
14 March 2014 by Amanda Scales

How can I help people to fly?

On Wednesday 5th March at Buckingham Palace, in the presence of our Royal Patron, HRH The Princess Royal, NIACE introduced the new Adult Learner Ambassadors to a group of sector and business leaders. One of those Ambassadors, Amanda Scales, who went from a belly dancing class, to an Access course, to university and is now a teacher, made the following speech…

11 March 2014 by Carol Taylor

Reading for pleasure is a part of becoming socially mobile

Booktrust has released two fascinating pieces of research today, linked to reading for pleasure. The first, carried out by DJS Research, is a national survey of reading habits amongst adults. It looks at who reads, how...Read more »

It is possible to be a Carer and work!
11 March 2014 by Carina

It is possible to be a Carer and work!

A guest blog from young adult carer, Carina, as part of NIACE’s WE Care project, which is exploring the support young adult carers require to make successful transitions into learning and work.

NIACE is working with Government, employers and providers to support disabled Apprentices
7 March 2014 by Guest Blogger

NIACE is working with Government, employers and providers to support disabled Apprentices

The Government’s recent Skills Funding Statement 2013-2016 refers to the plan for implementing a consultation on the technical details of the Apprenticeship funding system later this spring.

6 March 2014 by Dr Fiona Aldridge

Better IAG on Apprenticeships is vital for young people choosing future careers

Last night I was privileged to attend a reception hosted by the Deputy Prime Minister, to promote the benefits and value of careers to girls and women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine (STEM).

13 February 2014 by Guest Blogger

Adult education a platform for local growth

Column originally published in the Local Government Chronicle on 30 January 2014. I was recently asked to speak at the North of England Education conference in Nottingham on putting localism, skills and further education...Read more »

Look out! CLIF
12 February 2014 by Guest Blogger

Look out! CLIF

Column originally published in The Municipal Journal on 29 January 2014. One of the major challenges facing the education and training of adults is how to reach people who think learning is just ‘not for them’....Read more »

24 January 2014 by Guest Blogger

What does ‘good growth’ look like?

As welcome as yesterday’s latest unemployment figures are, higher employment is not enough on its own to ensure a sustained and lasting recovery. What’s needed are good jobs with opportunities for people to progress in throughout...Read more »

Better access to ESOL is crucial for progress in education, work and life
7 January 2014 by Alex Stevenson

Better access to ESOL is crucial for progress in education, work and life

You may have come across a recent article in the Guardian on the parliamentary inquiry that will look into concerns and grievances that remain after Gurkhas were granted the right to settle in the UK in 2009.

What matters is what works
31 December 2013 by Guest Blogger

What matters is what works

Column originally published in The Municipal Journal 31 December 2013. Alongside ‘demand management’ for statutory services over the next five years, economic growth tops the wish-lists of most local government leaders and chief executives as the...Read more »

13 December 2013 by Guest Blogger

Devolve skills funding to drive growth

Column originally published in the Local Government Chronicle on 29 November 2013. In October 2013 the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development published a major international survey as part of its Programme for the...Read more »

3 December 2013 by Carol Taylor

Poor skills are our responsibility. All of us.

PIACC, the OECD survey of adult skills which came out a few weeks ago, showed, in no uncertain terms, where England and N Ireland were located in the ‘league table’ of adult literacy, numeracy and IT skills, in relation to 23 other countries.

How can ESOL Learners Progress to Functional Skills?
20 November 2013 by Alex Stevenson

How can ESOL Learners Progress to Functional Skills?

With Government policy clearly stating that ESOL provision is expected to support learners’ progression to Functional Skills, it’s perhaps worth taking a few moments to reflect on what this entails.

Grassroots solutions key to recovery
31 October 2013 by Guest Blogger

Grassroots solutions key to recovery

Column originally published in the Local Government Chronicle on 17 October 2013. The party conferences were a mixed bag of announcements already trailed and the slow grinding of the pre-election gears. And...Read more »

14 October 2013 by Alex Stevenson

The Adult Skills Survey (PIAAC) – What Does It Mean for ESOL?

As the OECD’s Adult Skills Survey itself says, it’s hardly surprising that foreign language immigrants have lower proficiency in literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments.

A First Glance at The OECD Survey of Adult Skills 2013
7 October 2013 by Carol Taylor

A First Glance at The OECD Survey of Adult Skills 2013

Like many of you I’m sure, I haven’t had the chance to give anything like the considered detail the 466 pages of the full report of the OECD Survey of Adult Skills deserves.

When is a course leisure or vocational?
3 October 2013 by Dr Fiona Aldridge

When is a course leisure or vocational?

This morning FE Week published a story about their concerns over loans being accessed for ‘leisure’ courses and in particular for Horticulture courses at Bicton College in Devon. Their argument is that loans should ‘be prioritised for adults wanting to go to university, into work or to do an apprenticeship’.

PIAAC data could inform social, economic and educational policy
1 October 2013 by Carol Taylor

PIAAC data could inform social, economic and educational policy

PIAAC – you may have heard the word and wondered what it was. It stands for the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competences. It’s an international survey attempting to assess and compare the basic...Read more »

Revisiting tired debates has no future
17 September 2013 by Guest Blogger

Revisiting tired debates has no future

Column originally published in the Local Government Chronicle on 4 September 2013. One of the eye catching announcements at this year’s LGA conference was the package of ideas for “re-wiring public services”. Amongst its...Read more »

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