News at a glance

16th November 2012 at 00:00

FE Guild puts future of LSIS in question

Following the announcement of plans for an FE Guild, the future of the Learning and Skills Improvement Service - whose remit overlaps with some of the proposed body's - is in question. The "transition" towards the launch of the guild, including the implications for LSIS, will be implemented by next summer. Last month, post-16 minister Matthew Hancock announced that a partnership led jointly by the Association of Colleges and the Association of Employment and Learning Providers had been invited to develop plans for the guild. LSIS is a partner in the scheme. "Funding has now been agreed for the partnership to develop its plans and clarify how the guild will work and the scope of its activities," an LSIS spokeswoman said. "The development of the guild will have an impact on LSIS and the detail will be worked through over the coming months. It is anticipated that there will be consultation about the guild with the sector in the new year, which will clarify the implications for LSIS, with the aim of implementation of the transition by August 2013."

Outstanding practice on show at TES awards

The TES FE awards took place in Birmingham last night as part of the Skills Show. The black tie event, held at the NEC, recognised the sector's top individuals and teams. The winner of the outstanding provider of the year award was Exeter College, after it volunteered for a no-notice Ofsted inspection. The lifetime achievement award was won by long-serving City College Plymouth employee Julie McLean. For the full list of winners, see the Learning for Life supplement.

Vocational training brings greater happiness

People in vocationally-trained and skills-based jobs, such as hairdressers, gardeners and electricians, are happier than their peers who took an academic route. This is the finding of exam board City amp; Guilds' career happiness index, published this week. Of those who trained in vocational subjects, 65 per cent said they were happy in their job, compared with 58 per cent of people in largely academically-trained, office-based jobs. As a result of learning their trade from scratch and rising through the ranks, 68 per cent of those in vocationally-trained jobs said they were proud of their work, compared with 62 per cent of those in academically-trained jobs. Nick Bradley, City amp; Guilds' group director, said: "There's something to be said for learning specific skills and working your way up the career ladder."

Manufacturers point to shortage of skilled workers

Finding suitably-skilled employees is a worry for 74 per cent of manufacturing firms, a new survey has revealed. The report by manufacturers' organisation EEF and JAM Recruitment found that almost half the businesses surveyed said that their main concern was finding appropriately qualified staff. The survey also found that 68 per cent of firms currently offer apprenticeships, with 76 per cent saying they prioritise qualifications in maths and English when recruiting for them. JAM chief executive John Morris said: "This report is a clear message from manufacturers that they are alive to the issues but need more assistance in tackling the skills shortage for the benefit of the UK as a whole."

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