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Education Education

Put employers at the centre of technical education reforms

Last updated: 09:28am 14 January 2019

We will put employers at the centre of these reforms.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.53

Our verdict

The manifesto identifies the need for “bold reform of the funding, institutional and qualifications frameworks for technical education”, with the aim of making British technical education “rival the best technical systems in the world”.

This policy addresses the plan to make employers central to that process of reform.  The government proposes to do that by using “Skills Advisory Panels and Local Enterprise Partnerships” to ensure local businesses have significant input, and by expanding the apprenticeship programme, which puts employers at the heart of the education process, with improvements in both quality and funding.

Since the last election, the Department for Education has held its first ever Skills Summit, at which it announced the roll-out of the first seven Skills Advisory Panels, and the government outlined plans to further support Local Enterprise Partnerships in a July 2018 policy review paper, Strengthened Local Enterprise Partnerships.

There have also been changes to apprenticeship funding (although take-up has been limited) and the government remains committed to the pledge to create 3 million new apprenticeships by 2020 (although some reports suggest that may change).

It is still early days in terms of the overhaul of technical education, with new qualifications and educational establishments not yet in place, but the evidence suggests enough effort to involve employers in the process for us to mark this as ‘in progress’.  We’ll be keeping an eye on developments, so follow this policy for updates.

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