News at a glance

1st May 2015 at 01:00

Apply for up to pound;50K for your technology project

Colleges and training providers have just two weeks left to apply for grants of up to pound;50,000 to develop technology-led projects to improve vocational education. The Vocational Learning Tech Fund, run by the UFI Charitable Trust, will support UK-based organisations aiming to use digital technology to boost adult vocational learning and teaching. According to the trust, the initiative has been launched because current education and training systems are not solving the long-term problem of skills shortages. Technology could help to prepare adults for work by making vocational education quicker as well as more engaging, flexible and affordable, the trust said. Applications must be received by 15 May. For more information, visit

Professor Brian Cox opens Dudley Stem centre

Physicist and broadcaster Professor Brian Cox (pictured) has officially launched Dudley College's new centre for advanced manufacturing and engineering technologies. Dudley is one of only a handful of UK colleges awarded Stem Assured status by innovation body NEF in recognition of its extensive science, technology, engineering and maths curriculum. The pound;9 million centre, known as Dudley Advance, contains four floors of specialist teaching space and facilities for the study of engineering and advanced manufacturing. Professor Cox, who described the facilities as "fantastic", also gave a lecture to students and local school pupils on exploring the universe through engineering and science.

Schools urged to take on apprentices

Schools in England are being encouraged to sign up an apprentice as part of a new campaign. The National School Apprenticeships (NSA) programme wants every school to have one apprentice by 2020 and is asking schools to commit before June to creating at least one position in September. A spokesman said the plan was to create a groundswell of opportunities for school-leavers. More than 3,000 schools joined the NSA in 2014-15 to recruit apprentices and train the next generation of school support staff. A range of apprenticeship roles are available, from teaching assistants to business administration. The training is 100 per cent government-funded for 16-18s, and subsidised for those over 19. Learn more at bit.lyOneBy2020

Lewisham student to be NUS vice-president for FE

Shakira Martin, president of Lewisham Southwark College students' union, has been elected as the National Union of Students vice-president for FE for 2015-16. Ms Martin, a trainee teacher, was elected at the NUS national conference in Liverpool last week. She said she would lead an "active, campaigning" union to fight against college cuts, and pledged to lobby for a fairer funding system for FE and to "campaign tirelessly" for a new education maintenance allowance to put "pounds in the pockets of college students".

Hold a `Have a Go' careers event

Schools, colleges and learning providers are being encouraged to hold a "Have a Go" event introducing young people to careers they might not have previously considered. The Edge Foundation and the Skills Show have urged providers to take part to celebrate VQ Day on 10 June. Organisers could win back up to pound;500 towards costs, and the best two events will also receive pound;4,000 to repeat the activity at the Skills Show in Birmingham in November. David Harbourne, acting chief executive of the Edge Foundation, said: "Holding a `Have a Go' will help people take part in a day that celebrates individual achievements, and the wider benefits they bring to society and business." Find out more at bit.lyHaveAGo

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