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?
Nick Boles, the new Skills Minister, says apprenticeships are increasingly being seen as equal in value to university degrees as it emerges that up to 100 teenagers are chasing each post this year
Rising numbers of middle-class teenagers are considering on-the-job training courses because university is no longer seen as the only way to “get ahead” in life, according to the Skills Minister.
An overhaul of apprenticeships in recent years – creating more positions in respected jobs such as financial services, engineering and computing – is starting to put work-based training on a par with traditional three-year degrees, said Nick Boles.
Speaking days before the publication of this year’s A-level results, he said every school leaver should go into higher education or take an apprenticeship as a path into a decent career.
The comments were made as research showed that up to 100 teenagers are now competing for every training place as major employers compete with universities to recruit the brightest teenagers.
Figures obtained by the Telegraph showed that Marks & Spencer had around 3,000 applications for 30 trainee manager positions – apprenticeships open to school leavers with the equivalent of two A-levels.
The quality of post-16 courses in science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) is being “undermined” by a lack of time for staff to develop their skills and knowledge, a new report claims.
In a consultation carried out for the Education and Training Foundation, staff from FE colleges, sixth-form colleges and learning providers told the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) that funding cuts made it difficult for them to take part in continuing professional development (CPD) to improve and update their skills.
They also reported poor awareness of Stem careers among young people, causing a fall in demand for Stem courses, and that access to high quality Stem-related CPD was limited.
The report recommends that the ETF support the recruitment and retention of Stem staff, provide Stem-related CPD and opportunities to share best practice, and support greater involvement from employers.
It follows a report earlier this year by think tank NEF: The Innovation Institute, which called for a “radical overhaul” of Stem-based FE courses to avert a “wholesale crisis” in industry.