Next Generation Learning – updated implementation plan for FE & Skills

by | Jun 24, 2009 | Articles

On the 15th of June, Becta, working with national partners, released the FE & Skills sector implementation plan  for 2009-12- Next Generation Learning  to support a radical shift in the way that colleges and providers within the FE system think about technology.

Achievements from the past year

Over the past year, Becta and the national partners have been involved in range of initiatives to stimulate and inspire colleges and training providers in their use of learning technologies. Their initial plan to support providers across the FE system in their use of learning technology was first published in 2008 and progress has been made in a wide range of areas –  at a strategic level  through their initiatives to  inform policy and at a practical level ( for example releasing Generator – the new technology improvement leadership tool for FE).
They also commenced activity to engage with employers and sector skills councils via their work with Towards Maturity to specifically gather evidence around the impact of learning technologies in the workplace.  (Click here for full review of the past year).

The focus looking forward in tough economic times

In the forward of ther revised plan, the minister for FE calls for change across the sector saying ‘..as the Chancellor calls on industry in general to be innovative and to exploit technology , I call on the ‘skills industry’ to do the same’.

Stephen Crowne (Chief executive of Becta) says  that ‘The revised plan will result in real change and benefits for learners and employers’.  The plan highlights how Becta will be working  in partnership with key skills agencies to look at issues of FE workforce development ( including professional standards),  content and digital resources, incentives and performance,  and communication and networking.

The plan addresses many areas of mutual interest for both providers and employers alike – including informal learning, creating blended learning programmes from digital resources, how to ensure content quality, and the alignment of learning technologies to address commercial competitiveness ( one of the aims of the technology strategy board).

Engaging with employers, SSCs  and trade unions

As part of this plan , they are continuing to work with Towards Maturity to engage with those involved with delivering learning in the workplace through research and disemination of good practice in the workplace.

Jane Williams , Executive director of FE, Regeneration and skills says “It’s important that we remember that while we at Becta take the strategic lead on delivering the Harnessing Technology strategy, we do this by working in partnership with a wide number of organisations. This is the sector’s strategy and implementation plan, not just Becta’s. We’ve been furthering our work with employers and representative bodies over the past year to help us achieve this and we want to take this work further. Technology brings demonstrable benefits to training and skills development in the workplace, benefiting individual employers and UK plc. However, we can only support employers if we listen to their needs, hear their success stories and understand the challenges they face. So do get in touch with us, via either Towards Maturity or our online collaboration site http://collaboration.becta.org.uk

From our perspective at Towards Maturity, we welcome the opportunity to support the Next Generation Learning implementation plan. Our work with those providing learning at the coalface of business really highlights how radical change in learning development pays much needed dividends and we look forward to sharing some of this good practice both with industry and with FE providers through this community.

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