Britain’s management problem

Originally posted on Flip Chart Fairy Tales:

UK Commission for Education and Skills (UKCES) recently published a wide-ranging report on the state of the UK labour market. It noted that, while the UK has been good at keeping people in work, it has not grown as fast as other countries and its productivity has fallen. Some other countries, though, seem to have managed to grow, keep people employed and maintain productivity

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While acknowledging that there are a number of reasons for this, UKCES has some sharp words for Britain’s managers.

International comparisons of UK management capability are typically unfavourable, and suggest that poor management hinders UK competitiveness. Recent evidence shows that while we have many good managers, UK management capability is on average weaker than in countries such as the US, Germany, Japan and Sweden, and is likely to be a substantial factor in the productivity gap with these countries.

This is based on the findings of the World…

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The Top 30 Employers For Young Apprentices In 2014 Revealed, the employee-generated review site providing information about apprenticeships and school leaver programmes, has revealed its top 30 employers for young apprentices.

The most highly rated company, providing the most valuable overall experience for school leavers, was Virgin Media, with an average rating of 8.83/10, whilst FMCG and Retail was rated the best sector to work in, with a rating of 8.43/10.

The official top 10 is as follows:

Virgin Media
PSA Peugeot Citroen
M&G Investments
Jaguar Land Rover
Grant Thornton
The list was compiled by analysing 1,200 apprentices’ reviews of organisations, which measure everything from how valued they feel in the company to how much they earn.

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The motivation behind Ratemyapprenticeship is to help young people leaving school understand their options, and to provide information about apprenticeships, which is lacking elsewhere.

Oliver Sidwell, Co-Founder of RMP Enterprise, said, “Many young people are not yet aware of the possibilities that exist for them in considering an Apprenticeship or School Leaver Programme – and yet 99% of the apprentices we have spoken to would recommend it to a peer. By creating a platform such as RateMyApprenticeship, we hope to bust myths around apprenticeships and help supply great young talent at brands including Virgin Media, Barclays, PwC, Siemens and General Electric – all of whom have apprentice retention rates of at least 85-100%.”

Chris Starling, Head of Apprenticeships at victorious Virgin Media, said: “We are delighted that we have been ranked in the number one spot for our Apprenticeship programme. Apprentices have become a key part of our talent pool, whilst allowing us to give young people the skills they need to succeed in the work environment and it’s fantastic to hear from our apprentices what they really think.”

Apprentices not ‘second-tier students’


Hywel Roberts , 14 Aug 2014

Noble was speaking at a RateMyApprenticeship (RMA) panel debate on apprenticeship myths in London. She added that the academic results required to attain a place on many apprenticeships (300 UCAS points) is equivalent to those needed for a university place.

“So there’s definitely no sense that people who take the apprenticeships only do so because they didn’t have the grades to get into university,” she said. “A lot of young people choose it because they want to take a different route and get into work early.”

RMA co-founder Oliver Sidwell said that getting information about apprenticeships out through schools and colleges is a crucial element of giving young people choice in their higher education.

“That’s the most important element going forward,” he said. “A lot of people know what field they want to go into at 18 but think university is the only option. They’re not second-tier students, they just need to know that there are other options available to them.”

Melisa Samuels, a PMO application services apprentice at CapGemini, revealed both her parents and her teachers questioned her choice when she opted for an apprenticeship after being accepted to university.

“At first they thought I was mad but now they see the value in what I’m doing,” she said. “I go back to my old school to give talks about apprenticeships as an option. I think it’s important people go back and tell the students about what’s out there.”

The Epic BYOD Toolchest (51 Tools You Can Use Now)

You’ve got every device under the sun in front of you. Now what apps are you going to use? Here are the apps or app categories that I recommend you test for your school. There are lots of apps, and these are just my opinion based on what I’ve used with my students or successfully tested.

Formative Assessment

Socrative: My all-time favorite app for formative assessment runs on everything. It cut my time teaching binary numbers from five to three days just because I didn’t move forward until everyone “got it.”
Google Forms: Yes, you can create self-grading Google Forms for this.
Kaizena: This tool integrates with just about any platform and was listed on my 15 Best Google Add-Ons. It really helps you provide rock-solid, multisensory feedback on student work.
Screencasting and Capturing What Happens in Class

A-level of uncertainty

Originally posted on Education, economy and society (blog comment from

Another year of university ‘clearing’ swings into gear; but it now takes a very different form compared to when originauntitledlly established to help those who had missed out on their grades having a second opportunity to gain a place elsewhere. Despite tuition fee hikes and Coalition members continuing  to ‘talk up’  failing apprenticeships as an alternative to university,  there’s no evidence that students are shunning Higher Education – disadvantaged young people even less so (   

With universities now able to recruit an unlimited number of students with ABB grades and with those who achieve higher grades  than are expected able to ‘trade up’ the Financial Times (09/08/14) likened the process to a “football transfer window” as leading universities use everything from free laptops to cash incentives to lure away those who’ve already been accepted elsewhere ( As the FT indicates, it’s clear that more…

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Does Size Matter?

Is it an appropriate time to pose the question “How Do We Measure The Impact of Apprenticeships?”

The real value of any training programme is the impact it has on behaviour and how those changes are reflected in future performance. So here are a few questions I would like to ask about Apprenticeships:

1. How many Apprentices were offered a full-time job at the end of their training?

2. How many Apprentices were still with the same employer 12 months after completing their programme?

3. How many Apprentices who initially undertook a Level 2 programme, moved on to a higher-level Apprenticeship?

4. How many Apprentices were promoted to a new role at the same company within 2 years of completing their first programme?


Job Seeker Sanction Advice website created by ‘disenchanted’ ex-DWP staff to support claimant appeals

Originally posted on VCS Assist:

This new website has been created by ex-DWP employees disenchanted with the system, to offer support to claimants who have been sanctioned unfairly:

Welcome to the Job Seeker Sanction Advice website.

Not surprisingly, you may be wondering who we are, well, let me begin by stating categorically that we’re not associated with government or the legal profession, that said, we’re three ex DWP, female civil servants who left the organisation because of our total disenchantment with the way the benefit system was and is being administered.

…Our exclusive focus at this stage of our existence is to offer free help and assistance with: Jobseeker’s Allowance sanctions and disallowances, which is where our combined experience of many years lies.

We will prepare appeals and where possible, attend the Jobcentre in question or a tribunal to act as the official mouthpiece of the individual concerned.


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DWP puts failing Youth Contract initiative out of its misery

Originally posted on VCS Assist:

The Financial Times reports that the Youth Contract will be wound up early

The coalition’s flagship programme to tackle youth unemployment is to be wound up early, amid claims that it has been an abject failure.

The £1bn youth contract wage incentive scheme was championed by Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat deputy prime minister, at the height of the recession as a way to help tackle youth unemployment. But with the jobs market rapidly improving and take-up of the programme falling substantially below projected levels, it is to be cut short next month.

Under the scheme employers were offered £2,275 if they provided a six-month “job start” for someone aged under 25.

But in the first year of the scheme up to May 2013 only 4,690 recruits completed their placements, against a target of 160,000 for the entire programme.

Andrew Thomas, head of the Work…

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An introduction to blogging and twitter for social researchers

Originally posted on Mark Carrigan:

Given the increasing pressure to demonstrate the impact of social research, it is inevitable that researchers are looking towards the opportunities offered by social media. This one day course offers an accessible introduction to the use of blogging and twitter, encompassing the possibilities they offer for social researchers and walking you through best practice.

You will learn through a combination of presentations, informal discussions and practical sessions, including pre-course reading.

Course content covers:

  • An introduction to blogging
  • An introduction to twitter
  • Making an impact with blogging and twitter
  • Integrating blogging and twitter into your working life

 Who is it aimed at?

This is an entry level course, which assumes no familiarity with blogging or twitter.

You will find this course useful if you:

  • conduct social research
  • have responsibility for impact and public engagement
  • communicate findings to policymakers and practitioners

Learning outcomes:

By the end of the programme you will be…

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How To Get Started With Visual Learning In The Classroom

Originally posted on Executive Training Dubai:

Humans thrive on visual stimuli, and interaction. We don?t want to hear about the latest tablet, or even read an article about it. We want to see it for ourselves. More than that, we want to experience it for ourselves.


See on Scoop.itLeadership and Management

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This Week in Education – 10.08.14

Originally posted on Tall. Black. One Sugar:

A couple of articles that have grabbed my attention this week.
I have deliberately selected sections to pique your interest and drive you to the article.

1. A piece of research that suggest that girls play down their intelligence so as not to intimidate boys. Link

“Girls feel they must downplay their own abilities, pretending to be less intelligent than they actually are, not speaking out against harassment, and withdrawing from hobbies, sports and activities that might seem ‘unfeminine’.

2. A great insight by @huntingenglish into whether or not success is result of deliberate practice or genetic. Link

“A recent meta-analysis of the impact of ‘deliberate practice’ has brought into question its supposedly transformative powers. For a teacher seeking to get better, to hear that ‘deliberate practice’ has about a 1% impact on professionals is damning and disheartening.

3. The need to tackle elitism in order to help poorer children.

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Share your ideas on Northern growth

Northern Futures is a new initiative from the Deputy Prime Minister. The question we’re trying to answer is:

How do we build on the strengths in the North to create an economic core in the heart of the region that can compete with the biggest cities in the world?

We’ve created this website so you can join the debate. All you need to do is register and you’ll immediately be able to submit your ideas and comment on those of others.

We’ll be holding an event in November where we’ll showcase the best ideas and discuss how they can be pulled together into a coherent plan. If you want your idea to be considered at the event you need to post it on one of the two discussion threads below by 17th October.

You can find out more about the project here.

Do you agree that we should build up an area of the North as a global economic hub? Which city or group of cities is best placed to compete on the world stage?