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


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

The Knowledge Society

The professional organisations of today were founded tn the growth of societies dedicated to the advancement of knowledge in previous centuries, as our resident historian Dick Evans explains The foundation and development of learned and professional organisations representing science and technical disciplines is a fascinating story in its own right, but a study of their history also identifies many similarities with the evolution of technical and scientific education. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, both science and technology were in rapid transition and these disciplines had to fight hard to gain recognition and a place in the education system Before

New Services and Products

The quality of what the college offers by way of its services and products is the primary core business on which it is judged. Learner satisfaction and success can guarantee a more secure future as can return business from individuals, employers and other sponsors. The changing nature of employment and the ever accelerating knowledge/skill base coupled with the significant impact of the Information and Communications Technologies on the learning products and processes present particular challenges to the college in order for it to develop and deliver a high quality relevant and appropriate range of services and products to its learners/customers/stakeholders.

The Free Market

A Landscape of Contradictions and Paradoxes There are manifest schisms at the centre of the UK government and little joined up thinking. Dr Dick Evans explains why. It has often been said that we live in a time full of contradictions and paradoxes many of which have been brought about by the operation of the so-called free market, questionable political interventions and ambiguous political slogans e.g. ‘the third way’, ‘choice’ and the latest nonsense the ‘opportunity society’. Many commentators see the continuing introduction of the market by successive governments into the public services as a cynical way of reducing costs

Labour Market Research and Information

Three key questions successive Government have failed to tackle adequately are: How is the supply of sources of labour and skills changing? How is the demand for labour changing? How is the balance between supply and demand changing? In this article Dick Evans examines the consequences. These are the questions that drive and in form labour market research and information. In spite of an immense amount of effort over many years skills gaps and shortages continue to occur. Skills gaps and shortages occur when there is an imbalance in the labour market namely a mismatch between the demand for and