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Aligning the Educational Systems for Economic and Social Growth Charles Pickford Director of Employer Partnerships [email protected] Mission Statement

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Aligning the Educational Systems for Economic and Social Growth

Charles Pickford

Director of Employer Partnerships

[email protected]

Mission Statement

To meet the demands of workforce development, business improvement and the knowledge economy, fdf will seek to stimulate, support and sustain employer partnerships with the University and College sector.

About Foundation Degree Forward - fdf



New approach

‘If we are to become a leading knowledge based economy we must create new routes into higher education and new forms of provision….We have to develop new higher education opportunities at [the intermediate level], orientated strongly to the employability skills, specialist knowledge and broad understanding needed in the new economy.’

Modernising Higher Education: meeting the global challenge: February 2000 DfES



Leitch Review of Skills

  • 3.56: Concentrating too much on younger age groups could create further longer term problems for the amount and the use of high level skills in our workforce…As the Higher education White Paper stated, new higher education growth should not be ‘more of the same’, based on traditional three year honours degrees. Rather provision should be based on new types of programme offering specific, job-related skills such as Foundation Degrees.


‘The Foundation Degree will offer a new vocationally-focussed route into higher education. It will be academically rigorous and will provide an accessible and flexible building block for lifelong learning and future career success, drawing together further and higher education and the world of work. It will be designed to be highly valued in the labour market and appeal to a wide range of students, including the most able...For students wishing to continue their learning, there will be the opportunity to progress to an honours degree with only one-and-a-third extra years of study.’

Secretary of State for Education 2003

Integration of work based and academic


Employer led

Integrate academic and work based learning

Delivered to meet the needs of the employer and employee

Provides access to HE for work based employee / students

Foundation degrees



How do Foundation degrees fit with other qualifications?

Level 7

Postgraduate degrees


Professional qualifications

Honours degree

Yr 3

Yr 2

Yr 1

Level 6

Foundation degree

Level 5

Level 4

A - level

Advanced Apprenticeship

Advanced Diploma


Level 3

Intermediate Diploma



Level 2



Level 1

Young Apprenticeship

Foundation Diploma



Fd provides clear choice

  • Traditional campus based, subject led higher education


  • Work based, career led higher education

Both are equally valid - this is not a polarising agenda but one of providing appropriate opportunities for different communities of learners



“…education would lead to life changing outcomes.”

“..I hoped that I could be an example to my children. To show them that if I could do it then so could they.”

“..has prepared me for the next stage of my life by starting me a journey to first recognise and realise my own potential, and then develop the skills to achieve it.”


“I feel sure that the degree will improve my career prospects and open up new opportunities. I used to suffer from a lack of confidence – I feel that the course has now given me much more confidence in my abilities and I take on new challenges with a more ‘can do’ attitude.”Kathy Coveney, Tesco Compliance Manager

heis and fecs in england involved with fd provision
HEIs and FECs in England involved with Fd provision

Source: Foundation degrees: key statistics 2001-02 to 2007-08 (HEFCE 2008), Table 3

In depth analysis of employers needs

National Fd Framework Specifications

Characterising work based learning by sector and setting

Developing employer led consortia

Establishing networks of specialist providers

Accreditation of employer based training

Developing blended learning solutions

Redesigning the curriculum to support progression from and in the workplace

Information Advice and Guidance

Reaching the SME business community

Underpinning fdf strategies



Employer led consortia

  • ICT and Telecoms
  • Retail
  • Travel and Tourism
  • Utilities
  • Bio-pharmacy
  • Aircraft Maintenance
Recognised business need

Commitment from HE providers

Existing solutions not fit for purpose

Look beyond self interest

Organisational and individual capacity

Leadership and ambition

Not wedded to historical practice

Pragmatic and solutions driven

Looking to meet current and future needs

Characteristics of employer led consortia


Employer Based Training Accreditation – The ebta service

  • Fully captures higher level workplace training
  • Provides HE credits and / or incorporation into an HE award
  • Delivered via highly skilled facilitators
  • 119 engagements with employers
  • Provides a methodology for institutions
  • Community of practice (30+ institutions)


‘By formally recognising the knowledge that our managers already had…, underpinning their knowledge with formal learning, comparing Booths’ business practices with other retailers and considering current industry initiatives our aim was to increase the awareness, motivation and confidence of our managers’.

Therese Edmunds – Training Manager



‘The accreditation process in which fdf and EBTA have played a significantly supportive and guiding role has added value to Booths’ existing programmes as well as providing a route onto the Fd, blending different learning philosophies and building on existing processes and structures in a highly cost effective manner.’

Therese Edmunds – Training Manager

jobs of the future
Jobs of the Future
  • It is clear that as a knowledge economy, the UK will increasingly compete based on the commercial value of its ideas and the higher-level skills of its people
  • As key drivers of social mobility, education, skills and lifelong learning give people the tools they need to progress

Source Jobs of the Future, Cabinet Office, Sept 09


What next

  • For individuals, skills are the currency from the economies of the past to the economies of the future
  • How do we stimulate and then respond to demand from individuals to raise their skills?
  • What is the role for Universities and Colleges?

Non-participation in higher education 1

No single agency has the widening of participation in HE across the life course as its core mission

There is untapped need for professional information, advice and guidance for adults across the life course

The \'potentially recruitable\' usually see little need to participate in HE

The potential benefits of HE need to be made more apparent to this group


Non-participation in higher education 2

HE experiences within social networks shape the perceptions of \'potentially recruitable\' adults across and within generations

Identification with \'people like me\' in HE in terms of education, social and employment background influences decision-making across and within generations


Non-participation in higher education 3

There is an appetite for high quality, work-based and employer-supported provision, and for recognised qualifications that offer adults tangible returns

  • Fuller et al. (2008) Non-Participation in higher education. TLRP

If more employers were to make this sort of provision available, the latent employee demand (6 Million adults with Level 3 qualifications) could be released

charles pickford director of employer partnerships c pickford@fdf ac uk www fdf ac uk
Charles Pickford

Director of Employer Partnerships

[email protected]