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New guide to UK TVET from British Council/UKTI

A new guide to the UK’s technical and vocational education training (TVET) sector has been produced by the British Council, in partnership with government department UKTI (UK Trade and Industry), given the increasing global interest in skills as well as qualifications.

Extract from front cover of the new guide

"The UK is committed to skills development, and invests more than £60 billion on technical, vocational education and training each year"

Putting Skills at the Heart of Global Economic Success is available online and has been produced with international readers in mind; both those interested in study in the UK or in transnational partnerships.

The British Council declares at the start of the guide, “The UK is committed to skills development, and invests more than £60 billion on technical, vocational education and training each year. This has enabled the UK to develop an educational system that is internationally recognised for its high quality standards and its success in delivering the knowledge and skills that employers need to remain competitive and ensure a brighter economic future.”

Written in plain English, it will help readers to gain a fundamental understanding of all the key areas of the TVET system – also referred to as the VET system in Australia (vocational education and training).

The guide explains types of provider, qualifications, awarding organisations and quality assurance in the sector, which encompasses schools, FE colleges (further/vocational education) and University Technical Colleges (UTCs).

FE colleges educate 3.3 million students annually – 450,000 of whom are international.

Two-thirds of FE colleges have a business unit which is responsible for developing links with employers and the guide uses case studies to highlight how employment-related training can cater to an international audience and how UK organisations can work with international partners and clients.

“We work with international clients to develop customised courses to meet specific cultural and business requirements”

For example, it details how Dudley College in the West Midlands teamed up with a construction tool manufacturer and jointly worked with an Indian steel and power company to help them improve efficiency through training on how to use high quality tools in the workplace.

In London, Westminster Kingsway College has a strong reputation in hospitality and catering training and it welcomes international students but can also deliver training transnationally.

Nicole Barber, Assistant Principal – International Partnerships and Enterprise, explains, “We work with international clients to develop customised courses to meet specific cultural and business requirements. For example, we can map a client’s existing programmes against our curriculum, filling any gaps [and] enabling some students to complete their programme of study with two qualifications – their home college’s and also a UK qualification. This can very often make the student more attractive to global employers.”

Gail Campbell, the British Council advisor on Vocational Training, said, “The guide is aimed at an international audience who are interested in innovative solutions to skills development and looks to promote and explain the best of the UK skills sector.” It has also been distributed to education staff at British Council and UKTI offices globally.

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