FE Collective report makes key recommendations for sector's future

A report co-sponsored by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) is published today by FE News and sponsor NCFE, following the resounding success of the first FE Collective event on 17 October 2023. 

The event brought together over 100 voices from across the Further Education (FE) and Skills sector to share ideas about how collectively we can help tackle some of the biggest challenges in the FE and skills sector. ETF was delighted to support this event, harnessing the opportunity to take part in meaningful engagement with the sector and collective discussion about the sector’s future ahead of the imminent launch of ETF’s own new strategy. 

Three key themes were discussed at FE Collective: artificial intelligence, investing in the future of the sector, and progression. At the event, a speaker set the scene for each theme before progressing to a panel discussion and a subsequent working group discussion. The report published today summarises the views shared in each working group and the follow up actions proposed for the benefit of the sector. 

A group of attendees at the FE Collective event sit in a semi-circle in a room in front of a standing workshop facilitator.
Working group on ‘Progression, is there a better way?’ at the FE Collective

ETF’s CEO, Dr Katerina Kolyva, was a panellist for the session on progression, where discussion touched on systems thinking, professionalisation of the workforce, and the importance of clear career progression routes for sector staff.  

During the panel discussion, Katerina said: “Progression for me is about workforce, it’s about how do we ensure that all the professionals that serve the Further Education and Skills sector progress in their own careers, take ownership for their own individual progression, but also recognise that they are part of a wider system.” 

She continued: “Taking that perspective, it is how all of us need to start operating and thinking as part of a wider system. It’s not about online versus campus, it’s not about private or public, it’s all of those of things. It’s about how do we navigate and translate our work to address these issues.” 

Drawing on topics discussed, the FE Collective report makes three overarching calls to action: develop guidance for the sector on the risks and opportunities of use of AI in learning, teaching and assessment; provide more clarity on the strategic direction of the FE and Skills sector to give investors confidence; and trust the FE and Skills sector and give it autonomy to shape its long-term future. 

Read the full report here.