£5m scheme calls for technical experts to retrain as teachers

A new government scheme to draw technical computing and engineering experts into education has been launched

Apprenticeships and skills minister Anne Milton has launched a new £5m scheme – called Taking Teaching Further – which calls on experts from technical sectors to work in further education.

The programme aims to pay for up to 150 technical professionals to retrain as further education teachers, something which will prove invaluable as part of the gold standard T Level qualifications set to be implemented in September 2020. These are the technical courses – focusing on subjects such as computing and engineering – that are equivalent to A levels. It is hoped that T Levels will help to close ever-widening skills gaps.

Milton said of the scheme:

“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.”

Principal at York College and president of the Association of Colleges, Alison Birkinshaw, added:

“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.”

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David Russell, chief executive of the Education and Training Foundation, also said:

“This timely programme will bring in rich new talent and expertise, improving learner outcomes and supporting the development of the existing workforce. We are delighted to be playing a key role in the development and implementation of Taking Teaching Further.”

The fund will cover course costs of teacher training as well as support and mentoring. It will also fund 40 innovative projects to help develop local partnerships and collaborations.

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