A £5million scheme calling on experts from across a range of technical sectors to work in further education has been launched today by Skills Minister Anne Milton.
The Taking Teaching Further programme will pay for up to 150 professionals from sectors such as engineering and computing to retrain as further education teachers.
This expertise will be an important part of the roll out of the first gold standard T Level qualifications – high quality technical courses equivalent to A levels - from September 2020, as well as supporting the wider sector.
The first three T Levels will be taught in more than 50 colleges from 2020, with the remaining 22 phased in after that. This landmark reform will provide young people with a genuine choice between technical and academic education post-16.
Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton said:
Teaching in further education is an incredibly rewarding career. It is an opportunity to pass on your knowledge and skills and give someone the chance of a rewarding career.
I am thrilled to announce this excellent new programme. Attracting the best of industry into the further education sector will help students gain the knowledge and skills that industry really needs.
We are improving education for everyone and crucially plugging the skills gap. This is central to the government’s modern Industrial Strategy, which aims to make sure we are all equipped for the jobs of the future.
If you have had a career in industry and are willing to help us skill-up a new generation, do get involved.
Taking Teaching Further fulfils a manifesto commitment to bring industry expertise and practical experience into England’s further education sector, so students are gaining the skills and knowledge that will help them secure good jobs, while also providing businesses with the skilled workforce they need.
The programme has been designed with the Association of Colleges and the Education and Training Foundation, to create further links between the education sector and industry.
Principal at York College and President of Association of Colleges Alison Birkinshaw said:
It is absolutely crucial that our colleges recruit, retain and continually develop our lecturers and other staff so that they are up to date with their skills, particularly those working in shortage specialisms. This programme is a well-timed and exciting way to support individuals from industry who now want to teach the skills they have learned.
David Russell, Chief Executive of the Education and Training Foundation, said:
This timely programme will bring in rich new talent and expertise, improving learner outcomes and supporting the development of the existing workforce. We are delighted to be playing a key role in the development and implementation of Taking Teaching Further.
The fund will cover course costs of teacher training as well as support and mentoring. It will also fund 40 innovative projects that will help develop local partnerships and collaborations aimed at supporting an ongoing exchange between industry and further education.
The programme will be delivered by the Education and Training Foundation on behalf of the Department for Education.
David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said:
This programme is a great opportunity to help attract even more industry experts into the sector. It’s also a great chance for teachers to be updated with the latest industry practice.
Kirstie Mackey, Head of LifeSkills created with Barclays
Through our experience of running the Barclays LifeSkills programme, industry has a valuable role to play in equipping young people with the skills needed for work and life. By working together through programmes like Taking Teaching Further, educators, industry professionals and the Government can help young people develop a wide range of skills that will help them thrive in successful and fulfilling jobs.
Chris Fairclough is a Lecturer in Nuclear Plant, and Academic Lead for Degree Apprenticeships (Nuclear) at Lakes College and the National College for Nuclear in Cumbria.
I chose to teach in Further Education after a successful engineering career in the Nuclear industry, as I always felt I had an affinity towards training during my industrial years. In my last position – as Technical Support Engineer at Sellafield Ltd for 8 years – I guest lectured for a local training provider, and I decided that training and education was for me!
I love teaching in FE. I enjoy working with people who have the same objectives – to give the students the best possible learning experience to increase their chance of employment. I want to stay in FE for the foreseeable future. I am an ambitious person and FE allows you to be ambitious. There is room to grow as a teacher, as a mentor, as a student and as a manager if you so wish.
Rob Long, 58, is a lecturer in Engineering at Southport College. He is at the end of his first year of teaching, and is studying for a PGCE.
I had a 40-year career in engineering, before becoming a lecturer in Engineering at Southport College in 2017. My last engineering position was consulting on the routine inspection of nuclear power stations.
Having started my career as a 16-yr-old in mechanical engineering apprentice – before later progressing to completing a PhD in Ultrasonic Testing of Concrete Structures in my late 30s – I chose to teach in Further Education, rather than schools, as this gives me an opportunity to share my life and engineering experience with those about to enter the workplace.
Now I’m coming towards the end of my first year of teaching, I find I am experiencing great satisfaction seeing students aged 16-19 who have progressed beyond the stories that they had about themselves.
Joanne Rowell is a Trainer Assessor in Early Years and Supporting Teaching and Learning at Nottingham College.
I became an Assessor in Early Years Education at Nottingham College in 2017 after a ten-year career in an early years setting, including running a pre-school. Having been an employer in the sector, I wanted to teach good practice to future Early Years Staff and Teaching Assistants. I’ve found this industry experience gives me a huge advantage, in that I have a depth of knowledge that helps support students in their desired outcomes.
I love my job, it’s hard work but very rewarding when you have supported students to achieve a qualification in education.