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Productivity and micro business

The Productivity Insights Network, funded by the Economic and Social research Council, have recently published a follow-up evaluation of a series of programmes designed to boost productivity (see _January19.pdf ). The initiatives under the microscope were all originally part of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills Future Programme. Looking at the report from […]

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Can policy be inspired by practice?

At the beginning of this week (19 November 2018) I had the great good fortune to be invited to a workshop on ‘Driving improvements in business performance’ for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) personnel organised by the Work Foundation ( My challenge was to decide what to say in five minutes on […]

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Business productivity review

As part of their concern with the UK’s productivity performance, the Government has launched a consultation. You can have your say at . We’ve already posted some thoughts under the business support and advice services heading. Do you agree with our points about sole traders and micro businesses?

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Business startup comes to Chesterfield

Here’s a date for your diary: Saturday 24 February. The micro biz champion Tony Robinson OBE will be in Chesterfield to tell us what it’s really like to work for yourself. Marketers, bookkeepers, social media experts and lost of others will be on hand (along with folks who’ve recently started their own business) to offer […]

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Learning forum

QCF consultation
You can download our thoughts on the Ofqual proposals for the Qualifications and Credit Framework by clicking on the link.
Employer engagement
Awarding organisations are being urged to ensure employers have a greater role in the design,
development and delivery of vocational qualifications. Click on this link to access and download our Employer Engagement ‘Think piece’, which includes extensive references to relevant background material.
Think Piece 1 p1 v2
We’ve calculated that the Government is claiming that over a quarter of sole trader, freelance and similar businesses will be taking on an apprentice in the next five years. Follow this link to see our apprenticeship calculations. We are passionate believers in learning by doing and strong advocates of apprenticeships as a highly effective method of developing workplace skills. The questions are whether the Government is going to be able to deliver what is needed through its current approach and whether over-stated claims are helpful.



Posted March 27th, 2014

Is the Government’s approach to apprenticeships going to work? For example, are GCSEs good indicators of the abilities an apprentice should have in English and maths?

The Government is also claiming 44% of all businesses will take on an apprentice in the next five years. Have a look at the the item on the Learning Forum page above to see why we don’t think that is credible. Most important of all, let us know what you think.

Welcome to the Learning Forum!

Posted February 6th, 2014

Welcome to our forum. On this page we’ll be posting items which we hope will be of value to anyone with an interest in vocational learning. Please let us know what you think of the resources here, what you’d like to see developed and your views on the topics.

To kick off we’ve posted a ‘think piece’ about employer engagement. Is it possible to get more employers involved in designing, developing and delivering vocational qualifications? What do you think?