In brief

31st July 2009 at 01:00

Entry advantage

Apprenticeships and entry to employment courses will make up more than half of the extra 72,000 places created to guarantee a place in education for every 16-year-old. Ed Balls, Schools Secretary, said the Pounds 655 million extra announced in the Budget would pay for 25,000 apprenticeships, 13,000 entry to employment places and 35,000 school and college places.

Trainee numbers rise

The National Health Service is to spend Pounds 25 million on creating 5,000 new apprentices by next year, multiplying its trainee numbers more than four- fold.

Andy Burnham, the Health Secretary, said: "In these tough economic times, we must do all we can to provide high-quality routes into jobs so that we can ensure we have a highly skilled, highly motivated and loyal NHS workforce for future generations."

Top job filled

Andrew Hall has been made chief executive of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. Mr Hall has been acting chief executive since December.

Sound of success

A one-armed singer and guitarist at South Birmingham College has successfully finished the first year of his HND in professional music practice. Sam Draisey, of Bilbrook, near Wolverhampton, who was born with a partially formed arm, has recorded two albums and plays gigs locally. He hopes to work in the industry or teach music.

New learning leader

Tom Wilson, former assistant general secretary of the lecturers' union Natfhe, has been appointed the director of Unionlearn, which improves learning opportunities for trade union members. Mr Wilson takes over from Liz Smith, who retired this month.

Research grants offer

The Learning and Skills Improvement Service announced Pounds 330,000 of FE research grants this week for two initiatives. Its Leadership Practitioner Research Programme 2009-10 will fund up to 10 leadership-themed projects, each being allocated Pounds 20,000. The LSIS bursary scheme, run in partnership with the Institute for Learning, offers Pounds 130,000 to fund research that can be translated into practical messages for FE teachers.

To register interest in a bursary, email For the research programme details, see:

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