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In this week's TES Further: The 'profound mismatch' between learners and apprenticeship vacancies

Also: Saudi Arabia's vocational desert, and why taking a break from FE could give your career a boost

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Also: Saudi Arabia's vocational desert, and why taking a break from FE could give your career a boost

In this week’s TES Further, reporter Julia Belgutay reveals that a "profound mismatch" exists between apprenticeship vacancies and the areas young people want to work in. According to a new analysis, many end up applying for roles in sectors they had not previously expressed any interest in. Experts have said this highlights the lack of confidence among young people when it comes to selecting a career as well as the need for a more effective advice system.

Prime principals

In her editorial, Julia reminisces on past college visits (article free for subscribers), and the different types of leader she has met. Colleges can be led by someone who is engaged with their students and college, or merely a suit – someone who is just there and "seems disillusioned with FE". It is worth remembering that every step you take on campus could be teaching your students a lesson: one that may prove just as important as anything in their programme of study.

TES FE Awards

It’s that time of year again – the 2017 TES FE Awards are now open for entries! This year two new awards are being introduced:professional services team of the year and assessor of the year. Last year’s FE leader of the year, Judith Doyle, said winning was a highlight of her career and a moment she would never forget. "I struggle to put into words how I felt but, without doubt, incredibly proud and honoured; also humbled," she added.

Vocational desert

Russell Sheath, a senior college manager who worked in Saudi Arabia, writes about the country’s much-vaunted Colleges of Excellence – and how this potential vocational oasis soon turned into a desert (article free for subscribers). Meanwhile, Neil Bentley, chief executive of WorldSkills UK, talks about how the competition – which offers countries the chance to showcase their best apprentices – can lead the way on apprenticeship standards. "I strongly believe that by using the WorldSkills standards, which underpin the competition and are based on high-quality international training programmes, we can inspire our apprentices to develop their skills beyond competence," he writes.

Time for some R&R…

Ed tech writer Tom Starkey is back – this time with some wise words about how a professional pit stop (article free for subscribers) can offer the chance for some much-needed rest and rejuvenation. A sabbatical from work prevents staff from leaving the classroom permanently, he argues, and can make you ready for anything when you return.


Finally, new TES columnist Andy Forbes writes about FE’s uncertain future (article free for subscribers) in the changing political landscape. He says that FE needs to demand three vital kinds of support from the government: one, that politicians invest in top-quality technical education; two, that the failures in the current funding system are corrected; and three, that FE is the centre of the government’s apprenticeship strategy.

All this and much, much more in this week’s TES Further.

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