Twas (almost) the night before Christmas....

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Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the House (of Commons)Not an MP was stirring, not even a mouseStockings were hung by the Parliament chimney with careIn hope that St Nicholas would soon be there.

Ministers were nestled all snug in their bedsWhile visions of policies danced round in their headsSo looking back now at the year 2013What good, bad and ugly skills policy have there been?

Let's go back a few weeks to the Autumn Statement,A bundle of good news the Chancellor sentOut to manufacturers on skills with a commitment first toRoute Apprenticeship funding through the employer – which was long overdue

But he wasn't quite finished and instead added inThere would be funding for higher apprenticeships , another manufacturing winAnd extra funding for STEM at HEWhen matched by investment from a university

This was sure to support an announcement by WillettsThat there would be STEM funding part-time students to getAn attempt to drive up female participationWhich in STEM let's be honest, we're not good as a nation

Employers to design new apprenticeshipsLed by industry experts, was sure to be a hitTargeting key sectors, one standard for eachAnd an agreement between employers must be reached

This direction of travel continues on toVocational qualifications young people can doStripping out the bad, with only the best to remainAnd the intro of Tech Levels which learners can gain

Now I only give credit when credit is dueAnd there is much much more the Government can doLet's start with careers advice, a serious matterIt's really one area that is simply in tatters

To get young people into our industryThey need to be aware of the opportunitiesFace to face advice from Key Stage 4Will go some way to open that door

And let's get employers to teach in schoolsTo show how key subjects are in fact pretty coolAnd this we believe can work in both waysIf teachers are in industry for a couple of days

Mixed feelings remain on GCSEsA focus on rigour, was sure to pleaseBut the decision to have marks 1 to 9For many manufacturers was a confusing sign

Generally a good year for skills policiesAnd a time to consider 2014's prioritiesThere are many on our list, too many to list hereSo why not come back to our blog in the New Year!


Head of Education & Skills Policy

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