VET Policy Developments

VET Policy Developments

England

The information below has been extracted from the 2012 policy report survey circulated to the national steering group. This shows examples of policy developments in line with the short-term deliverables of the Bruges Communiqué.


Employer Ownership of Qualifications

The Government has made available funding for employers to drive skills development by designing and delivering their own training solutions.

A pilot was launched in February 2012 with £50m initial funding being made available in the first year. A prospectus has been published asking for employers to bid for funding and work with employees, trade unions, colleges, training providers and other partners in developing training programmes, including apprenticeships and wider employee training opportunities, training and skills development to help people into work as well as creating innovative approaches to the design and delivery of training and workforce development. This is envisaged to enhance labour market relevance of the training and involve employers in qualification development.

Visit UKCES for further information.

This initiative relates to short-term deliverables:

  1. Organise activities aimed at promoting VET attractiveness and excellence, which may include campaigns and skills competitions;
  2. In order to maximise the contribution of VET to the "ET2020" 15% benchmark on the participation of adults in lifelong learning, review the use of incentives, rights and obligations for all stakeholders involved, and take appropriate action to encourage participation in C-VET.

Further Education (FE) Loans

Loans are made available to learners aged 24+ to study at QCF level 3 and above.

Loans in further education will support those aged 24+ to undertake advanced (QCF level 3) and higher (QCF level 4) FE courses and apprenticeships. Loans aim to support learner choice, enable entry into further education without need for fees up-front, and support progression. The loans becomes available from the 2013/14 academic year. Individuals who are qualified at Level 3 and above experience benefits, including increased wages, compared to those who are not qualified at that level. Therefore, those individuals are asked to make a greater contribution to the costs of their courses – although the FE Loans system means they will only start making that contribution after they have finished their training and are earning more than £21,000.

Visit the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) for further information.

This initiative relates to short-term deliverables:

  1. Organise activities aimed at promoting VET attractiveness and excellence, which may include campaigns and skills competitions;
  2. In order to maximise the contribution of VET to the "ET2020" 15% benchmark on the participation of adults in lifelong learning, review the use of incentives, rights and obligations for all stakeholders involved, and take appropriate action to encourage participation in C-VET.

Raising the Participation Age

From 2015, 18 year olds will be required to take part in education and training.

The compulsory participation age in education and training is being raised to 17 from 2013 and 18 years of age from 2015. Students will be given the options of full-time education, such as school, college or home education or work-based learning, such as an Apprenticeship or part-time education or training if they are employed, self-employed or volunteering for more than 20 hours a week. It is planned to increase the number of academies and provide extra funding to create more apprenticeship opportunities to accommodate more students and offer greater choice.

Whilst participation has not been made compulsory yet, 93.5% of 16-17 year olds are already currently in education or training and it is hoped to achieve full participation before it becomes mandatory. Raising the participation age is thought to better prepare individuals for employment and to reduce the number of young people not in education, employment or training.

Visit the Department for Education’s website for further information.

This initiative relates to short-term deliverables:

  1. Take preventive and remedial measures to maximise the contribution of VET in combating early leaving from education;
  2. Consider specific measures aimed at raising the participation of low-skilled and other “at risk” groups in education and training, including by developing flexible pathways in C-VET and using appropriate guidance and support services.

Higher Apprenticeships Fund

Funding to enable progression to higher level skills.

To address higher level skills shortages within businesses and to provide a route for people to progress to higher level skills and beyond, on to post-graduate qualifications, £25m was made available for the development of new frameworks up to degree level. Funding was provided for 10,000 places for businesses to increase and develop Higher Apprenticeships; delivered through the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS). The first round of bidding has been completed and the second round of successful bids are due to be announced May/June 2012. In excess of 20,000 places are expected to be generated by 2015 as a result of this investment.

Visit the National Apprenticeship Service’s website for further information.

This initiative relates to short-term deliverables:

  1. In order to maximise the contribution of VET to the "ET2020" 15% benchmark on the participation of adults in lifelong learning, review the use of incentives, rights and obligations for all stakeholders involved, and take appropriate action to encourage participation in C-VET.
  2. Consider specific measures aimed at raising the participation of low-skilled and other “at risk” groups in education and training, including by developing flexible pathways in C-VET and using appropriate guidance and support services.

Right to Request Time to Train

Allowing employee upskilling.

Investing in the skills of employees is an investment in the future of businesses. A better skilled workforce is more productive, more adaptable, more innovative and better motivated. Right to Request Time to Train is a legal right to allow workers in businesses with more than 250 employees, to request time to take up work-related training. This came into effect from 6 April 2010. This means that 11 million employees in Great Britain will have a new right to request time to train. This right will work by giving employees a legal right to ask employers to give them time away from their normal duties to undertake training that they believe will improve their performance at work.

Visit the Directgov website and the Unionlearn TUC website for further information.

This initiative relates to short-term deliverables:

  1. In order to maximise the contribution of VET to the "ET2020" 15% benchmark on the participation of adults in lifelong learning, review the use of incentives, rights and obligations for all stakeholders involved, and take appropriate action to encourage participation in C-VET.
  2. Consider specific measures aimed at raising the participation of low-skilled and other “at risk” groups in education and training, including by developing flexible pathways in C-VET and using appropriate guidance and support services.

E-books for further education (FE) and Skills

Making available flexible learning material through new technology.

This project started in 2009 to make freely available to all UK further education colleges a core collection of over 3000 digital vocational textbooks. An additional 60 e-books were added in 2011. JISC Collections has negotiated preferential terms and conditions so that e-books can be used to their full potential, e.g. teachers can use parts of the e-books to populate virtual learning environments and students can link to textbooks from their e-portfolios. The e-books can be used on the learners’ personal device, both negating reliance of PCs on campus and encouraging participation. The e-books’ interface can be personalised by teachers and learners, e.g. include college branding, links to other college resources and is interoperable with screen reading software. The initiative has been a catalyst for technological change in the sector, as more colleges have started to use the books, encouraging teachers to use digital resources and colleges to enable off campus access to college learning systems. A further stage was started early in 2012 to extend availability to learners in Work Based Learning outside FE colleges who have an even greater need for the flexibility provided by e-books, including the ability to access them and study whenever and wherever they happen to be and integrate study into busy lives. In addition, e-Books offer a number of advantages for learners with disabilities including portability and the ability to change font size, colour and text-to-speech options. As the project has advanced, some publishers have welcomed the support of JISC TechDis in helping them design full accessibility into their digital publications from the outset. The opportunity is now being taken by some to build in “Voice”, embedding audio delivery in from the outset.

Visit the JISC website for further information.

This initiative relates to short-term deliverable:

  1. Use ICT to maximise access to training and to promote active learning, as well as to develop new methods in both work- and school-based VET, in order to facilitate the participation of “ at risk” groups.

Minimum duration of apprenticeships

Introduced to ensure minimum standards of apprenticeship training.

The minimum duration of apprenticeships for 16-18 year old was extended to 12 months in December 2011. This will now also include apprentices over 19 years of age from August 2012. 19+ apprenticeships will last between one and four years unless prior learning or attainment has been recorded. Apprenticeships for 16-18 year olds will last at least 12 monts without exception. There are, however, more flexibility for older apprentices as they have typically acquired more skills prior to starting the apprenticeship. The minimum duration has been decided upon to ensure high quality training and increase labour market confidence in apprenticeship training.

Visit the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ website for further information.

This initiative relates to short-term deliverable:

  1. Governments, social partners and VET providers should make the necessary arrangements to: A. maximise work-based learning, including apprenticeships, in order to contribute to increasing the number of apprentices in Europe by 2012;
  2. create opportunities for enhanced cooperation between VET institutions and enterprises (profit and non-profit), for example through traineeships for teachers in enterprises.

NAS Apprenticeship Vacancy Service

Displaying all apprenticeship vacancies in one place for easy searching.

The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) has end-to-end responsibility for delivery of apprenticeships in England. It works with employers to help them take on apprentices, also with those who advise learners to enable more young people and adults to benefit from apprenticeships. The NAS runs an on-line vacancy system where individuals can search for apprenticeship opportunities through an easily accessible search function. Numbers of apprenticeship starts have risen in England in recent years.

Visit the NAS website for further information.

This initiative relates to short-term deliverable:

  1. Governments, social partners and VET providers should make the necessary arrangements to: A. maximise work-based learning, including apprenticeships, in order to contribute to increasing the number of apprentices in Europe by 2012;
  2. create opportunities for enhanced cooperation between VET institutions and enterprises (profit and non-profit), for example through traineeships for teachers in enterprises.

University Enterprise Networks

Increasing cooperation between industry, the public sector and universities to make a substantial contribution to the long term competitiveness of the UK economy.

University Enterprise Networks (UENs) help higher and further education institutions to provide their students with real life experiences of being enterprising in the commercial world, with a view to developing their enterprising mind and skills sets. In this way institutions will engage more with the needs of employers and graduates will obtain more of the soft skills that employers seek, with many being encouraged to start their own growth business. This involves business partnerships with higher and further education institutions and each University Enterprise Network may focus on a particular sector and may cover one or more regions.

An independent report by EKOS identifies that UENs offer strong potential to develop a new and cost effective approach to industry-academic collaboration as the UK moves from recession to economic recovery and growth.

Visit the NCEE’s website for further information.

This initiative relates to short-term deliverables:

  1. Governments, social partners and VET providers should make the necessary arrangements to:
    A. maximise work-based learning, including apprenticeships, in order to contribute to increasing the number of apprentices in Europe by 2012;
    B. create opportunities for enhanced cooperation between VET institutions and enterprises (profit and non-profit), for example through traineeships for teachers in enterprises;
  2. Take measures to promote entrepreneurship, e.g. by promoting the acquisition of relevant key competences, enabling practical experiences in enterprises, and involving experts from businesses.

Revised funding system

Reform of the funding system to reward qualifications relevant to the labour market.

A new funding system is under development. Provider funding will be dependent on the success rate of some learners and apprentices, i.e. in terms of long term employment. Former students and apprentices will be tracked to see whether they are in employment following the course. Job Outcome Incentive Payments have been introduced in 2011/12 and a trial of the new funding scheme will be held in 2012/13 before full implementation is envisaged in 2013/14.

Visit the SFA’s website for further information.

This initiative relates to short-term deliverables:

  1. C. Governments, social partners and VET providers should make the necessary arrangements to provide VET institutions with feedback on the employability of VET graduates;
  2. Pursue work on setting up monitoring systems on transitions from learning to work;
  3. Use existing monitoring systems to support the participation of “at risk” groups in VET.

REFERNET FLYER

VIEW NOW

CEDEFOP NEWS

READ NOW

NARIC
newsletter

READ NOW

CEDEFOP

VIEW NOW

CEDEFOP
RSS FEED

READ NOW