On 18th May 2021, a new Education Bill was introduced to UK Parliament. The Skills and Post-16 Education Bill has been designed to ‘level up’ opportunities across England and boost the economy by an estimated £26 million to aid post-pandemic recovery.
The new legislation is a landmark reform to support young adults with a range of opportunities and specific desirable skills, as well as to encourage more routes into the workplace.
The 3 key measures introduced in the Skills and Post-16 Education are:
1. Inviting employers into the skills growth conversation
The launch of this Bill will be the first time colleges and employers will work together to develop skills plans so the training on offer in colleges and further education institutions meets the needs of local areas. The hopeful outcome is that young people will not necessarily need to leave their local hometown to start a career they are qualified for.
2. A transformation of the current student loans system
The Bill will see a change in the way adults access student loans, by having more flexible options for higher-level education and training at college or university, which is also accessible for their whole lives.
3. Introducing new powers to intervene when colleges are failing
With the new Education Bills come new powers for Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, to intervene when colleges “fail to meet local needs”. This is a clear sign that the Government is propelling further education into new waters, leaving little room for colleges to make mistakes.
On the Bill, Gavin Williamson, commented: “This legislation will be vital so we can make sure everyone can gain the skills they need to get a great job locally and businesses have access to the qualified employees they need to thrive. We’re also investing £83 million to create more classrooms and high-quality teaching facilities, to ensure we can keep up with demand and offer a training place for all 16–19-year-olds that want one.”
The future of education and technology
The success of the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill relies upon the consistent communication and collaboration of teachers, students, parents, and local employers. Modern cloud technology has been proven to be the most effective, efficient, and cost-saving way to surpass the expectations of all parties and support learning delivery.
Cloud technology, digital platforms, and multiple accessible devices have the capability to resolve long-standing issues in education institutions by strengthening existing lines of communication and opening more opportunities for easier and faster interactions.
These elements are the key drivers for the success of this Bill – but in a wider context, they have become the essential foundation of remote learning delivery for further education during the varying stages of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. At the height of the pandemic in 2020, colleges in England reported most learners (around 2.2 million people) were studying remotely. This is a trend that is set to continue long into the future.
Cloud telephony will continue to lead the way in the future of further education. Why? Because we are only scraping the surface of what digital technology can do in the education space. More and more colleges and other academic institutions are discovering chatbots and employing classes via unified communications solutions is the very beginning of what potential digital technology and Smarter Working can bring.
NFON supports Post-16 Education
Through Cloud telephony, NFON have supported the digital transformation of several academic institutions across the education sector, with invaluable long-term benefits. Colleges have been able to save money and significantly improve the speed and quality of communication between teachers, students, parents, and local employers.
There is a lot at stake if colleges do not meet the requirements of the Education Bill. And equally, there are a lot of opportunities available to enable colleges to deliver quality, accessible and seamless education, and the communication it requires.