FE news at a glance

FE teacher training bursaries to continue to 2016

A bursary scheme to encourage top graduates to teach in further education has been extended. The scheme, originally available for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years, will now continue into 2015-16. It is specifically for teachers in maths, English and special educational needs. The maximum bursary available is pound;25,000 for maths graduates with a first-class degree, while graduates specialising in English or SEN will receive pound;9,000. Skills minister Nick Boles said the move would give the "extra push" needed to encourage the brightest and best. Recruitment is open now and graduates are due to begin their training from September 2015. More information.

Ditch jargon to sell apprenticeships, report says

Learning providers and employers should adopt "youth-friendly" practices to recruit people to less popular apprenticeship programmes, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Among other suggestions, the report by the CIPD says that advertisements for vacancies should be free of jargon and unsuccessful candidates should be given feedback. It also says that employers and learning providers could do more to raise the profile of apprenticeships and gain parents' buy-in and engagement by, for example, providing clearer information on pay and career prospects.

British Council reveals students' broad horizons

Further education students in the UK are increasingly looking overseas to improve their skills and job prospects, a survey reveals. Almost half (47 per cent) of students polled for the British Council survey believe there are more opportunities to work abroad than in the UK, and the same proportion believe that studying or working overseas will help them to get a job when they come back. Eighty-three per cent say they have considered working or studying abroad after they finish their FE course. More than 90 per cent would like to work with people from other countries.

Popularity of vocational routes gets parental boost

Parents want to see more practical teaching in schools and support the idea of technical degrees combining academic and vocational study, a survey suggests. The Edge Foundation education charity polled more than 1,000 parents of teenagers to gauge their views about vocational education. More than three-quarters say they want young people to gain a baccalaureate-style certificate at 18 summing up their achievements in both academic and practical subjects. Seventy per cent support technical degrees for young people who want to combine academic study and hands-on work. Although parents still know more about academic options, the survey shows their knowledge of vocational routes is improving, with greater recognition of NVQs and apprenticeships than in a previous survey in 2008.

Market intelligence is key for colleges, AoC finds

Colleges in England work with almost 600 businesses to provide training for their employees, according to the Association of Colleges. A new survey by the organisation shows that colleges are confident they can respond to skills shortages in their area by making use of labour market intelligence, with 88 per cent getting their information directly from employers. But the survey also reveals that 80 per cent of colleges want more flexibility to use their funding to respond to local business demands.

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