A guide which explains the benefits of apprenticeships for your workforce, and how the apprenticeship levy and public sector target apply to schools.
A guide which explains the benefits of apprenticeships for your workforce, and how the apprenticeship levy and public sector target apply to schools.
This report maps out how employment is likely to change in the future – including the implications for skills – and anticipates a number of new occupations.
The paper explores the relationship between vocational education and training (VET), the labour market and social justice in the current conjuncture.
Building on detailed national case studies, the report demonstrates the expansion and diversification of vocationally oriented education and training offered at higher levels in European countries and the variations in how countries use the higher levels: there is evidence for strengthening vocational principles at higher levels in various ways as well as for strengthening academic principles.
See also Volumes 1 to 5
We wanted to kick start a real debate about the underlying principles and philosophy of English vocational education so that we can move away from instability towards a more settled and focused vision.
Our results show that initially higher earnings observed for people achieving higher vocational education disappear when people are in the mid-twenties. Depending on the type of university attended, male degree holders earn up to 18% more by age 30, while female graduates earn around 40% more. However, there is considerable heterogeneity by gender and subject area. There are high returns related to higher vocational/technical education in STEM subjects, which remain significantly above those of many degree holders by age 30.
The analysis highlights the failings in the UK’s skills system and offers thoughts and recommendations on how we can improve our performance.
The guide provides information on the opportunities, progression and benefits of doing an apprenticeship with case studies from real apprentices.
This guide for colleges explains what careers leadership in colleges looks like and how it could be led and managed within your college.
The UK economy is set to undergo significant change in the coming years. The impact of rapidly advancing technology, an ageing population and exiting the EU will leave our economy looking very different by 2030.
This report investigates the relationship between the extent to which a subject is vocational and the employment outcomes of its graduates. It seeks to develop understanding of how subject choice can lead to different employment outcomes.
This report looks at skills mismatches in the economy and their potential effect on employers, individuals and others. Mismatches are the failure of skill supply to meet demand.
Technical and vocational qualifications for teaching from September 2017 and reporting in 2019 performance tables.
This document provides a summary of the UK’s Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system and how it provides the UK economy with highly skilled people.
How employers and training providers should meet the 20% off-the-job training requirement for apprentices, with some best practice examples.
The standards show what an apprentice will be doing and the skills required of them, by job role. Standards are developed by employer groups known as ‘trailblazers’.
This report identifies effective strategies to tackle skills imbalances, based on five country-specific policy notes for France, Italy, Spain, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
What difference does it make when employers work with education and training providers? How can employer engagement best be delivered?
Research for Practice: Papers
Presentations and Videos
This report draws both on literature review and an original collection of stories from biographical interviews of individuals in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, Poland and the UK.
The narrative accounts describe the wide variety of experiences with initial and further education. The analysis focuses on motivations for learning (or not) and the findings confirm that early negative experiences with schooling have a scarring effect inhibiting workers’ willingness to re-engage in education later in life. Nevertheless, many low-educated adults command a variety of skills, which they have developed in the work context, while the interest of the low-educated in education and training may be rekindled by making learning instrumental to improvement in their work situation.
Brazil and UK. Vocational education in Brazil: a guide for international collaboration/ Educação Profissional e Tecnológica no Brasil Um guia para cooperação internacional
As Brazil’s government policy for 2015-2018 places education at the fore, an incremental demand for vocational and higher education is expected with new opportunities for international cooperation in the sector. This report reviews relevant marketing data and literature and identifies partnership opportunities between Brazil and the UK.
Objective: To explore the vocational education and training systems in four countries – the UK, US, India and South Africa – and to understand the economic benefits of investing in skills.
UK. Routes into Work… it’s Alright for Some: key issues in progressing through vocational learning into employment
Overall employment rates are now at their highest since records began, but youth unemployment, while down from recession peaks, is falling at a frustratingly slow pace. The number of reported job vacancies is actually greater than the number of 16 to 24 year old who are out of work, so why is youth unemployment still so high?
Working Futures 2014-2024 provides a comprehensive and detailed picture of the UK labour market, focusing on employment prospects for up to 75 industries, 369 occupations, 6 broad qualification levels, gender and employment status.
Improvements in workforce skills are essential for European countries to attain higher economic growth and to compete effectively on product markets. Literature indicates a positive relationship between levels of education and productivity growth; this report builds on and expands this body of research in two ways. First, it investigates the differential impact of various skill types – higher (academic), upper-intermediate vocational, lower-intermediate vocational, lower-intermediate general, and low – on labour productivity. Then it accounts for the stock of uncertified skills (i.e. those built through training). The analysis is carried out in six EU Member States – Denmark, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK – representing different modes of VET (and for which data were available). The analysis suggests that general and vocational skills complement each other and that the effect of (certified) skills on productivity is stronger when certified skills are reinforced by training.
The research indicates that young people are still not receiving adequate support despite the changes and revision to the statutory duty upon schools to provide careers education and inspiration. It suggests the wide range of options available are not being discussed with young people and so critical decisions are being made without a full understanding of the options and labour market.
The Code helps employers provide high-quality internship opportunities and find the best candidates from every background.
A survey conducted of HR managers at 367 large employers in nine countries: Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Jordan, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States (US).
Related report. Culture at Work: The value of intercultural skills in the workplace
The research shows that there is real business value in employing staff who have the ability to work effectively with individuals and organisations from cultural backgrounds different from their own.
The report sets out how the government will accelerate its reforms to the skills system, to ensure that its vocational training offer allows its citizens to compete with any in the world.
This OECD page reviews the policies of postsecondary vocational education and training, looks at the preparation of younger people and adults for technical and professional jobs. Key policy challenges include responsiveness to labour market needs, alongside inclusion, access, career guidance, finance, governance, teaching quality, integration with workplace learning, articulation with other sectors of education, and qualifications and assessment (17 country reviews and a comparative report). Reports for Spain, Iceland, United States of America, England, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Korea, Israel, Germany, Danemark and Austria are already available.
Understanding Occupational Regulation deepens our understanding of a policy lever which can raise skill levels via the introduction of minimum prescribed skills standards into an occupation or an aspect of it. Taking a predominantly qualitative approach, this report explores the design, implementation and impact of voluntary and mandatory occupational regulation in the UK.
The Government’s overall economic objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. The suite of sectoral strategies are an important step forward in achieving this goal. However this will require a high standard of implementation and continuity of purpose in the medium and long term. Project and programme management capability and skills in both the public and private sectors will also be a major success factor. Indeed skills have emerged as a strategic issue in every sector strategy.
Contribution of Iain Cameron, Associate at UK Commission for Employment & Skills
The National Apprenticeship Service said there had been a 32% increase in demand for such subsidised on-the-job training placements since last year.
Standards and frameworks concerned with competence – broadly, the ability to do – are increasingly being used in professions, generally though not exclusively associated with the function of signing practitioners off as fit to practise. Current trends are towards a predominantly functional or activity based, rather than skills or attributes-based, model of competence. There are however limitations to how well a purely competence-based approach of either type can capture the ability to cope with the changing contexts, evolving practice and ethical demands of professional work. The less tangible notion of capability offers some pointers for improving frameworks so that they better reflect the needs of professions, and evidence of a capability-based approach can be discerned in recently-developed sets of professional standards.
This document evaluates how well new skills and employment policies and systems have been implemented.
From August 2012 – January 2013, nearly 11,500 fewer people have started an apprenticeship compared to the same period last year. This represents a decrease of 4.5%. Amongst the 16-18 age group, the decline is 12%. As UK gears up for economic growth and focus on filling ‘skills gaps’ in the workforce, clearly this is cause for concern –especially with youth unemployment on the rise again, with nearly 1 million 18-24 year olds out of work. Apprenticeships have a higher profile than ever, so why are they declining?
Thousands of apprentices, from hairdressers to aeronautic engineers, showed off all that apprenticeships have to offer. This supplement is a celebration of apprenticeships.
This research paper aims to understand why 18 to 24 year old are not in education, employment or training (NEET).
UK. Review of the economic benefits of training and qualifications, as shown by research based on cross-sectional and administrative data
Vocational qualifications and apprenticeships increase earnings by 10-20% and these benefits last.
UK. The Innovation Code: ensuring local decisions for skills meet the needs of learners and employers: an updated guide
Guide to help colleges and training organisations make the most of their freedoms and flexibilities in meeting the needs of their learners. This guide explains how the Innovation Code (the Code) can be used to do this.
UK Skills Minister, Matthew Hancock releases discussion paper on traineeships for 16-24 years old. The new Traineeships programme would provide young people with a tailor-made package of support that will give them the confidence, skills and experience to compete in the labour market with more experienced adults.
the Career Happiness Index shows that people in vocationally-trained and skills-based jobs, such as hairdressers, gardeners, plumbers and electricians, were happiest – 65% compared to 58% of those in largely academically trained, office-based jobs. The report also looks at employment status and personal circumstances in order to understand how these can affect a person’s well-being and satisfaction levels at work. It showed that: Self-employed people are overwhelmingly happier at work (85%). 68% of those in vocationally-trained, skills-based jobs saying they were proud of their work, compared to 62% of those in academically-trained, office-based jobs.
Related report. Career Happiness Index 2012
Overview of apprenticeship systems and issues – ILO contribution to the G20 Task Force on Employment
This paper reviews current apprenticeship programmes and practices in a limited number of countries. The evidence and lessons drawn from their experience provide both motivation and practical recommendations for making apprenticeship a more attractive and a more efficient pathway to productive and decent jobs for more young people.
This report reviews the available evidence on the economic value of intermediate vocational qualifications, looking at the private wage returns (and briefly the improved likelihood of being in employment) associated with such qualifications.
This report explores quality assurance processes used for vocational education and training (VET) in five countries identified as key competitors in the international VET market. The report compares different quality assurance arrangements in Australia, Canada (Ontario), Germany, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom. It includes a particularly useful country by country breakdown of quality assurance systems in its appendices. http://www.deewr.gov.au/Skills/Resources/Publications/Documents/ComparisonsIntQualityAssuranceSystems.pdf
UK. Does the cap fit? UK. The case for contextualised Initial Teacher Training for vocational teachers
This case study of UK teacher-training for vocational trainers highlights the tensions between the professionalization of the teaching workforce and the skills and expectations of vocational trainers.
Young people today are better educated than their counterparts in the 1970s, but the average time it takes to secure stable work is much longer. This paper explores the nature of young people’s transitions from school to work in the capital, with implications for national policy.