Need for improvement in quality of technical and vocational education & training
Last week, Sir Michael Wilshaw launched his fifth and final annual report as outgoing Chief Inspector of Ofsted.
The report describes an education and skills system which has greatly improved over the last five years with 1.8 million more pupils attending good or outstanding schools than in 2010.
However, one area pinpointed by Ofsted where the education system could improve is through helping young people receive a technical or vocational education which equips them to be competitive in the workforce. Alongside this schools and employers need to communicate clearly that technical and specialist skills are valuable which will help further raise the status and esteem in this area.
This critical need for this improvement is further underlined by the fact that the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) surveyed employers in 2015 and reported that almost a quarter of vacancies in the country are now in areas of skills shortages, representing over 200,000 jobs.
The report highlights that schools have successfully increased the proportions of pupils going on to complete the academic qualifications needed to be accepted into university. However, for those pupils going directly into the workforce, it is only a minority of schools that are prioritising giving them a solid preparation for the world of work. The report identifies university technical colleges as a clear route for pupils focused on a technical or vocational pathway, but barriers to teacher and pupil recruitment mean that the performance of these schools to date has been variable. Post-16, the overall need for FE colleges teaching performance to improve and for them to be offering courses that are directly linked to local or national skills shortages is critical.
MyKindaFuture believe that young people need to be given time to explore, discover and engage with the huge range of paths available to them before they leave education and crucially offered appropriate and timely help in securing one of those future options.
As a social business we believe in giving every young person equal power and opportunity to shape their future. We help them develop ‘work-ready’ skills whilst offering employment opportunities, from work experience, to traineeships, apprenticeships to graduate programmes.
To overcome the challenge identified by Ofsted, we believe that active and sustainable collaboration between educators and employers is the best way to ensure young people unlock the skills, connections and opportunities needed for a bright future.
Link to Ofsted Annual Report 2015/16: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/ofsted-annual-report-201516