1.Demonstrate in-depth knowledge and systematic conceptual understanding of a range of features of the EF & skills sector'
The Further Education and Skills Sector
The report emphasises on the major features of teaching methods and learning in further education and skills sectors. Further education (FE) involves any course or study that is different from secondary education and it is not a part of higher studies (Gleeson et al. 2015). It is a course, degree or qualification that is offered in universities or other academic institutes. The following paragraphs describe the significant changes in the further education sector and the impact of recent policies on teaching in the business management area for further education level. The report provides initial information about skills and policies for the field of further education in the United Kingdom. The area of further education experienced huge changes due to the introduction of new policies by the government. The report highlights the recommendations that affect the professional practices in the colleges and the area of business management. The further education sector has faced a large number of challenges over a few years due to the new policies and changes made by the government. The report discusses the new recommendations that could lead to the improvement in the professional practices.
Further education is any training or course that is offered to the students in addition to that they receive at the secondary level and it is different from the courses offered in higher education by universities or any institutes. There are a number of institutes or organisations that provide further or adult education to young school leavers and adults. Further education and skills sector play a significant role in expansion and introduction of skilled professionals in workplace. It includes several qualifications or skills such as awards, diplomas, certificates and other vocational training (Cantor 2017). The colleges offering further education also provide various qualifications such as Higher National Certificate (HNC), Higher National Diploma (HND), foundation degree or Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). Further education usually provides an intermediate, advanced or any follow-up qualification that is necessary for the continuation of the course in higher education level or it can help to begin a particular career path such as accountant, engineer, veterinary surgeon and many more. The courses or trainings are provided to the student over the age of sixteen at FE colleges through work-based training mode or learning institutes.
The further education and skills sector aims at enhancing the skills of the students prior to the higher education or beginning of the career (Mourshed, Patel and Suder 2014). FE is defined as all the courses or learnings that are provided after the age of sixteen except the courses offered at higher education level. It encircles a wide range of learners with distinct age, subjects of study, ability and purpose of the course. People join further education colleges in order to learn the necessary skills that required in the labour market or to continue higher education. The courses offered by further education and skills sector also help people to re-enter in employment after losing a job or in upgrading their skills to progress their job. The training include courses to improve the English skills of the people who are speakers of other languages and the course is known as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). The FE courses cover three main areas that are vocational training, academic teaching and basic skills (Robinson and Hobson 2017). The vocational training helps in preparing students for their professional work and in enhancing their skills. The further education sector provides a proper path to the students for the growth in their future career by providing efficient and proper training.
Further Education and Business Management
The motive of further education is to provide vocational qualifications and skills to the students that they need to progress in employment or in higher learning. The further education and skills sector has moved into a new era, with a radically different relation with the Government. The colleges offering further education in business management sector follow various strategies to provide effective learning and training programs to the students (Jordan 2017). The main objective of the sector is to improve the training and learning programs in business management sector that can help people in reaching their potential and give them ability to progress their career in business management. A range of incentives for new teaching staffs and support for professional development of existing staffs were announced by the government with the intention to improve the supply of teachers and skills of existing staffs in the business management area. The priorities of further education sector are to improve the quality, quantity and professionalism of trainers in the area of business management. The business management colleges believe in enhancing the skills of the teachers and trainers in using modern and future technologies in a more efficient way for supporting delivery of further education teaching and learning.
Managers and leaders in the business management sector are highly ambitious and well-informed about the purpose of the further education sector. The staffs understand their responsibilities to provide high quality teaching and learning. In business management sector, teachers and trainers follow various strategies to enhance the development level of all the learners. These strategies are implemented for developing the essential skills and knowledge of the students and for widening the range of skills that are required for progression and employment in business management sector. The trainers measure the success rate of their approach by periodically analysing the growth in skills and knowledge of the learners through regular assessments. Trainers implement these assessments in extremely efficient manner to ensure that the learners get feedback about their progress in each session. Teachers use assessment methods at appropriate times during the course of the business management in order to help learners in understanding the areas that they need to improve. In further education colleges, vocational teachers, subject teachers and specialist teachers work together in order to provide effective learning programs and to improve the skills of the learners.
The further education system plays a significant role in professional and technical education system. The further education colleges have faced a vast transformation due to the recent changes in the education system of the United Kingdom. The further education sector aims at providing skills to the learners that can help them in their higher education or employment, therefore its demand has increased over the years. In 1990, the further education sector was subjected to major institutional change due to the significant transformation in the curriculum of the FE colleges by the government (Cripps 2017). The General National Vocational Qualifications (GNVQs) was introduced in the further education system and due to this, the lecturers and trainers faced a sustainable change in their working practices. (Ainley et al. 2016)In 2000, the government replaced GNVQ by Advanced Vocational Certificate in Education (AVCE). The introduction of AVCE made a huge modification in the content of the courses of FE colleges and also transformed the roles of trainers and students. New elements were introduced into the system with the introduction of AVCE and there were modifications in the work of FE lecturers and other staffs. The colleges providing further education courses have faced the increase in the competition level due to the increase in number of institutes.
Challenges Faced by the Further Education Sector
The further education sector has witnessed a vast transformation in the recent years due to the introduction of new policies and changes by the government. In 2014, a range of incentives and bursaries were announced by the government for the new trainee teachers (Kogan 2018). The intention of the government was to improve the supply of trainers and skills of existing teachers to provide quality learning to the students in FE colleges. The introduction of bursaries attracts a large number of new graduates having relevant degrees to teach maths and English and other courses in FE colleges. The Subject Knowledge Enhancement scheme was developed in order to enhance the skills of qualified graduates and to widen their knowledge prior to the beginning of their teaching profession in FE colleges. The recent policies for the further education sector that are introduced in the education system are as follows:
The colleges provide sufficient training programs for enhancing the skills of existing trainers and other staffs in the institutes. The lecturers and trainers are provided efficient training to improve their knowledge and skills in their specific areas.
The FE colleges use several technologies to improve the methods of teaching and learning. It provides flexible approaches to meet the requirement of learners more quickly and in a more easier way.
The FE institutes offer efficient learning programmes to the students in order to help them in their future job. The programs include the theoretical lectures for different courses and practical trainings to provide work experience.
The FE sector has adopted several recommendations to improve the quality of teaching and learning in the colleges (Sallis 2014). The colleges provide incentives to the new trainees in order to attract more number of highly qualified graduates to teach in the institutes. In business management sector, the teachers and trainers are offered training programs to enhance their skills in order to improve their professional practices. It allows teachers to improve their skills and enhance their knowledge. The colleges provide several technologies for the teachers to make their job more efficient and easier. These recommendations are adopted by the FE institutes to meet the professional requirements of the teachers and other staffs. However, there are still some areas that need to be improved by the FE sector to provide more efficient work. The recommendations for the improvement in teaching and learning methods of the further education colleges are discussed below.
Recent Policies in the Further Education Sector
The FE colleges need to provide proper training to the existing teachers and trainers on a regular basis to improve their method of teaching (Borg 2015). The institutes offer training to the new staffs with the intention to make them understand their job properly. However, there is a need to train the existing staffs also as they may face problems in their job.
The joint work facility refers to the sharing of responsibilities for the tasks that include team teaching, research programs and other works that create interdependence among staffs. It will allow the exchange of knowledge and skills among teachers by the discussion of practices and sharing of ideas.
The colleges should seek for the feedback from the students and learners in order to understand the areas that need to be improved. It will help teachers and trainers in understanding their capability and improving their skills and techniques.
It can be concluded from the above discussion that the further education sector plays a significant role in providing students with the proper skills and knowledge that can help them in their higher education or their job. The further education sector offers a huge number of courses including business management that allows people to start their career in an efficient way. It provides various methods of teaching and training to the learners with the intention to enhance their skills and knowledge. The FE colleges also offer employment opportunity to the graduated and skilled people by training them to teach courses of their field to the learners. The proper training programs are offered to the staffs in order to enhance their skills and knowledge. The FE sector has experienced a significant transformation over the years due to the introduction of new policies and changes by the government. The further education sector has undergone a vast expansion in the number of FE colleges and institutes over the years and therefore, it is beneficial for the economic growth of the country.
Ainley, P., Allen, M., Avis, J., Bailey, B., Bailey, M., Barnett, M., Bathmaker, A.M., Bernstein, B., Blair, T., Cable, V. and Clandinin, J., 2016. 16–19 Study Programmes 55 academic 108, 135 advance level (A-level) 43 advanced level apprenticeships see apprenticeships. Vocationalism in Further and Higher Education: Policy, Programmes and Pedagogy, 40(48), p.141.
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Gleeson, D., Hughes, J., O’Leary, M. and Smith, R., 2015. The state of professional practice and policy in the English further education system: a view from below. Research in post-compulsory education, 20(1), pp.78-95.
Jordan, P., 2017. The academic library and its users. Routledge.
Kogan, M., 2018. Educational policy-making: A study of interest groups and parliament. Routledge.
Mourshed, M., Patel, J. and Suder, K., 2014. Education to employment: Getting Europe’s youth into work. McKinsey & Company.
Robinson, C. and Hobson, A., 2017. Mentor Education and Development in the Further Education sector in England.
Sallis, E., 2014. Total quality management in education. Routledge.