No Image Available


Read more from TrainingZone

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

A week in training: Education and Skills in the spotlight


NewsIt's all about education and skills this week following the landmark Education and Skills Act 2008, Sir Alan Sugar signs up to back the push for apprenticeships, Universities Secretary John Denham's University Challenge looks set for success and a new report suggests women may make better leaders than men.

Almost a decade after last addressing the CBI annual conference, business secretary Lord Mandelson was back this week. Arguably, he said, no Secretary of State for Business had addressed the country's senior business leaders at a time of such economic disruption since the Second World War. "This government is determined to support business through these tough times," he said. "Indeed, the best way in which we can stand up for workers and their families is by standing up for business." And he called the government's creation of new apprenticeships and new training initiatives "the next industrial revolution". He concluded; "These are difficult times. But we will get through them. Working together we will create a stronger future."

Businessman superstar Sir Alan Sugar is backing the landmark Education and Skills Act 2008, given royal assent this week, and will be fronting the apprenticeship drive in TV ads promoting work-based qualifications in the new year. The Act means that young people will stay in education or training until the age of 18 from 2015 and more adults will also be given a legal right to free training. The landmark legislation was welcomed by high profile employers, charities, trade unions and professional associations. Sir Alan said: "Young people need choices that motivate them – not everyone who leaves school at 16 has the drive to succeed that I did. The fact is that some people learn better on the job or by seeing how their learning applies to the real world – that's why I'm backing apprenticeships."

A new brochure – 'Standing Together: Universities Helping Businesses through the Downturn' – put together by Universities UK with the Higher Education Funding Council for England was published this week. Setting out the kind of support – consultancy, practical and research support, staff development and training courses – universities and colleges could offer employers, the brochure lists over 150 providers and points of contact within each HE institution. Professor Rick Trainor, president of Universities UK, said: "Universities work hard to make themselves more accessible and useful to business, but we are keen to do more." The brochure can be viewed online.

The government's New University Challenge has attracted interest from 27 areas of England looking at establishing new higher education centres. The scheme was launched in March by Universities Secretary John Denham. Economists estimate that every extra job a university creates is matched by another elsewhere in the economy. Mr Denham said: "In these challenging economic times, never have universities and colleges been more important to education, economic development, regeneration and the cultural life of our rural areas, towns and cities." See a copy of the New University Challenge consultation document.

"Could the right man for the job be a woman?" – That's the question asked by global recruitment and talent management consultancy, Hudson. The new study found that women's natural characteristics and working style hampers their route to the top and they break into senior leadership positions by adopting 'male' leadership style. Karen Scott, Hudson's UK managing director, said: "Our study suggests that women could actually make better leaders than men, when not forced to adopt a traditionally male style, sacrificing their own natural instincts in the process." See the report


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!