Minister for Skills: The current system would rather our young people get a degree in Harry Potter studies than an apprenticeship in construction


Welcome to FE Soundbite Edition 665. This is the weekly e-newspaper with the latest announcements and thought leadership articles from this week on FE News.

This week was the Conservative Party conference. On this week’s SkillsWorld LIVE, which was taped during the Conservative Party conference, there was a bit of a clash over ‘mickey mouse’ courses.

Skills Minister Andrea Jenkyns spoke at a fringe Brexit event at the Conservative Party… and said:

“Yet the current system would rather our young people get a degree in Harry Potter studies than an apprenticeship in building. Now it doesn’t take magical powers to figure out it’s wrong, which is why the government is is committed to making good use of the broomstick and spring cleaning poor quality courses.If a course does not provide someone with a positive outcome leading to a well-paying job, it makes no sense that the government should fund it, especially taxpayers.

..and she shared her take on the T-Levels and said she thinks the brand has been “slightly tarnished” by some of the recent grades controversy associated with the new qualifications.


Interesting reports… the one I loved on AI and the job market

Our friends at Lightcast have published a very interesting report: Demand for AI Skills Triples in UK Labor Market. This is very interesting to me! At FE News, we’ve had AI for about seven years…and on my date with my wife this week, we mostly talked about AI and Agile! I mean how geeky!. To be fair, my wife runs two AI projects. …but AI is really part of our professional lives (mine in media, creative and skills…it’s in engineering and aerospace)…and it’s just in our homes. AI is all around us, young and old…it’s here to stay, so I think this report on AI in the workplace is worth reading!

There have also been announcements of in-prison apprenticeships being launched with employers (which is great news).

Interesting and exclusive thought leadership articles from this week:

We’ve had some really great thought leadership articles this week and a really cool lineup:

I love Nahla Summers articles…as always, now Ann Gravells is consistently one of our most popular articles each week on FE News…but Ann hasn’t written in a few years!…until this week: with Minimum Core 2022.

Megan Thomas from Hinkley Point C, wrote a great article on engaging the future workforce, Elizabeth Taylor from ERSA also wrote a great article: mini budget delivers mini workforce impact of missing work in the UK.

Maryam Al-Khalaf, Research Associate at the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) wrote a really interesting article… on digital addiction… which is barely talked about to be fair: Digital addiction and overuse of technology in adolescents from an educational point of view.

CMI’s Jules Bennington wrote about: Black History Month 2022: Managers and leaders must bridge the ‘say versus do’ divide to tackle workplace disparities

Eleanor Regan of EDSK wrote an interesting article following her recent report: Why we need to create a new culture around investing in skills.

RM’s Ian Castledine wrote about: Ensuring qualifications provide students with concrete skills

We also launched the first episode of the new livestream season this week – #FutureOfApprenticeships – the first episode was about 16-19 year olds and apprenticeships… and we found a star in John-Joe. If you missed it… well here it is.

Episode 2 explores apprenticeships and small business… 10 a.m. Thursday, October 13.

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