News at a glance

`Appetite' for apprenticeships but little advice

More than half of young people aged 11-16 are interested in embarking on an apprenticeship instead of a university degree, but only 30 per cent say their schoolteachers have discussed apprenticeships with them, according to a poll. And in a separate survey of adults aged 16-25, more than a third say a degree-level apprenticeship would be better for future career prospects than a university degree. Both Ipsos Mori polls were presented at an international summit on apprenticeships by the Sutton Trust and Pearson this week. The Sutton Trust, a social mobility charity, said the surveys showed a "growing appetite" for apprenticeships among the public that was not matched by what was available.

Young people lack `resilience', employers warn

Businesses still think the education system is failing to instil in young people the attitudes and skills they need to succeed in the world of work, according to a survey. The annual CBIPearson Education and Skills survey of 291 companies reveals that employers think too many young people are leaving school or college "underequipped for life". More than half (61 per cent) are concerned about the "resilience and self-management" of school- and college-leavers and a third are concerned about their attitude to work. In the 14-19 age group, employers say the top priority for schools and colleges should be developing awareness of the demands of working life, with support from businesses.

Government reveals strategy for excellence in FE

The UK government has republished its long-awaited workforce strategy for FE, setting out how it wants the sector to "excel". The document, originally released in March but withdrawn the next day, details the challenges and priorities for FE and what the government is doing to help. These include concerns over poor teaching standards especially in maths, weak leadership and governance, lack of engagement with employers, the unattractiveness of FE as a career option for teachers and the ineffective use of technology. It confirms news of "golden hellos" of up to pound;10,000 to tempt graduates to teach maths in FE colleges and training providers, and re-emphasises the government's aim to put English and maths at the heart of education.

Technology is good for learning, lecturers say

A poll of FE teachers reveals that 80 per cent believe technology can have a positive impact on teaching and learning. The survey of more than 600 FE professionals by City amp; Guilds highlights positive attitudes towards using technology in the classroom, with more than 70 per cent finding it useful for tracking student progress, conducting tests and sharing resources. However, the research also shows that staff feel they are being prevented from making the most of new technology because of a lack of investment. City amp; Guilds said the enthusiasm from staff must be matched by concrete action by decision-makers and budget-holders.

Colleges and students triumph at BTEC Awards

Exeter College has been named outstanding BTEC college of the year at the Pearson National BTEC Awards in London. The award builds on Exeter's success at the TES FE Awards in 2012, where it was named FE provider of the year. Students from the college were crowned public services student of the year and hospitality, travel and tourism student of the year. Students from Leeds College of Building picked up two awards: construction student of the year and 19+ apprentice of the year, while Barry Falconer was named lecturer of the year. Bridgend College student Connor Thomas was named overall outstanding BTEC student of the year.

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