Government sets aside cash to headhunt top people from industry into education

Anne Milton

The Government is pumping £5m into a scheme to headhunt experts from across a range of technical sectors to work in further education.

The Taking Teaching Further programme, launched today by Skills Minister Anne Milton, 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.

She 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 the 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.”