Richard Evans is the Chairman of the CIPHE’s Education and Training Group. In this issue of ETM, he looks at the Trailblazer concept and the Plumbing & Domestic Heating Technician Apprenticeship. Bigger doesn’t mean better! Apprenticeships still occupy a central part of the skills agenda, but will all this discussion bring about the high quality frameworks that are now urgently required? The main political drive seems to be to create large numbers of appren- ticeships, but with little reference or debate about the quality and fitness for purpose of the programmes. These two elements are surely the most important and


Richard Evans is the Chairman of the CIPHE’s Education and Training Group. In this issue of ETM, he gives his view on how the industry is perceived. Lights, camera…action! This article attempts to explore the influence of the mass media on society’s perception of technical professions such as plumbing and on technical education and training in general. Too often the media promotes negative images and attitudes of these subjects. As we all know, they can have a real impact and influence both positively and negatively on the way people, particularly the young, understand and perceive key issues. In general, the


Richard Evans is the Chairman of the CIPHE’s Education and Training Group. In this issue of ETM he considers how we can raise the status of plumbing. Changing attitudes The theme of this piece is as relevant to the plumbing profession as it is for all other vocational and technically orientated qualifications and occupations. It addresses the general perception that these qualifications are second-class and of low status, when in fact they are strategically important subjects and occupations. This in turn has created a view that colleges and their programmes are second class, expressed in an attitude that if you

The Threat to Work-related Learning

Dick Evans analyses the Coalition’s approach to the 14-16 curriculum and WRL and points out the inconsistencies and risks implied by this policy. One of the most disappointing aspects of the Wolf Review was the recommendation that Work-Related Learning (WRL) should not be a statutory requirement for 14-16 year olds. Equally sad was that the government endorsed that recommendation and removed the funding for education business partnerships. This decision is consistent with others of the government as it continues to narrow the curriculum and heavily prescribe and proscribe areas of it creating a bland and sanitised offering to the majority of

Youth Matters

One of the most unfortunate consequences of the current global financial crisis is the very high level of youth unemployment particularly in Europe. Sadly the present situation looks like it will persist for some time and already commentators are talking about a lost generation mirroring a similar situation in a number of regions in Britain in the 1980s e.g. North East and South West of England. I had direct experience of that situation in Cornwall and the plethora of short term schemes introduced by the then government most of which failed to create long term solutions. Unfortunately at present one


Richard Evans is the Chairman of the CIPHE’s Education & Training Group. In this issue of ETM he continues with his views on issues that will have an affect on the plumbing industry. Perceptions This article focuses on the continuing crisis in the industry resulting from the shortage of qualified practising plumbers. The article in the last issue highlighted that fewer training places means fewer plumbers qualify. However, more funda- mental is the negative attitude towards practical occupations, coupled with a still prevailing perception about technical and vocational qualifications as somehow second class. Funding Since the early 1990s as a


CONTINUOUS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT (CPD) IS DEFINED AS ‘THE PURPOSEFUL MAINTENANCE AND IMPROVEMENT OF YOUR KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND COMPETENCE TO CARRY OUT YOUR PROFESSIONAL ROLE THROUGHOUT YOUR WORKING LIFE’. DR RICHARD EVANS LOOKS INTO THE CONCEPT OF CPD AND HOW IT CAN BENEFIT BOTH EMPLOYER AND EMPLOYEE WHEN IMPLEMENTED CORRECTLY. In summary CPD is ‘any activity which enhances an individual’s professional practice and encompasses formal, informal, course based, work based, individual and collaborative learning. Formal off-job training is only a part of CPD. Most learning actually takes place not through attending training courses, but through the work people carry out and


DR RICHARD EVANS HIGHLIGHTS THE NEED FOR A CLEAR GUIDANCE STRATEGY WHEN IT COMES TO DECIDING ON EDUCATIONAL AND TRAINING PATHS. At this time of unprecedented change in the nature of the world of work and the transformations that are occurring in the profile of employment, guidance for people to decide on their education, training and employment is even more critical than ever. Educational and training institutions must develop comprehensive and effective guidance systems to open up access, increase and widen participation, improve retention and produce individuals who will match the employment needs of Malta and Gozo. People, whether preparing

Writing for Toffee?

Richard Evans is concerned about the decline in writing skills. Last September a number of daily papers (e.g. The Independent 6/09/08) ran reports on a study by exam boards and assessors/markers on the ability of candidates sitting GCSE and ‘A’ levels examinations to write their answers in longhand. According to the report, the number of requests from candidates for ‘scribes’ in examinations had increased from 28,324 in 2005 to 40,215 in 2007. The figures relate to the total number of requests for ‘scribes’ and clearly a particular candidate might require help for more than one subject. However it was unlikely

Reading Skills and ICT

Richard Evans returns to his soap box on the issue of computers and their possibly negative impact on education A recent BBC World Service programme presented by Michael Rosen raised a number of interesting issues regarding the impact of the declining use of narration in popular films on reading skills. An American film critic on the programme voiced his concerns about Hollywood productions which were increasingly superficial and undemanding on the audience. Too often, the films were formulaic in character e.g. car chases, explosions, sex and special effects with predictable and superficial story lines and plots. The audience were primarily