Shifting the paradigm on skills
Reverse decades of under-investment in FE workforce, says new FETL report
The UK will not be able to develop a prestigious, high-status technical education and skills system unless it raises the professional status of the people that teach in it, says a new report from the Further Education Trust for Leadership (FETL).
A world-class workforce for world-class skills: The case for a national institute for technical teaching and regional knowledge centres, by Neil Bates, calls on government to invest in the development of a new generation of technical teachers through the creation of a national institute for technical teachers, supported by a network of six regional teaching and sector specialist knowledge centres.
It makes the case for a ‘national plan’ to ‘re-build and add capacity to our skills system after decades of under-investment’, with a comprehensive strategy for workforce development at its heart.
FETL President Dame Ruth Silver said: ‘The rebuilding of technical education – currently a central plank of the policy outlook of all major parties – must begin with a focus on teaching, training and learning, and offer proper development for those expected to deliver the desired step change in technical provision. We need to make sure the profession is attractive to potential teachers and support them accordingly, not only in terms of pay – a huge issue that needs to be addressed urgently – but also equipment and resources. Without this, no amount of altering curriculum and qualifications, central target-setting or calling out of failure will take us where we badly need to go.
‘This report is a challenge to politicians and policymakers to think about and invest seriously and continuously in the future of technical education. It is an example of the kind of informed foresight we need if we are to move forward in a serious and sensible way in making the most of the opportunities we face. It most certainly warrants the serious hearing and concerted policy attention badly needed for our students, our economy and our society to thrive.’