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    • Graham Cooper
      Daniel, I didn't even mention that T levels require 45 days work experience by the student. Where is this going to come from ? Schools currently struggle to get work experience for one or two weeks for their pupils how are they going to get 9 weeks ? Work experience is undoubtedly valuable for the student if it can be found, but it places a huge drain on employers resources to give a safe meaningful well supervised  9 weeks. A good idea with no thought as to how it gets implemented.
    • Daniel Kirmatzis
      Hi @Graham Cooper Many thanks for these insights and you're right that the qualification landscape is confusing for vocational courses. It takes many years for a new system to become established and valued by employers e.g. A-Levels, Higher Education whilst vocational studies as you point out have continuously changed depending on the government of the day and therefore lack of consistency and longevity needed for them to be valued as highly as aforementioned courses. This is why it's crucial that manufacturing leadership in the UK has a permanent voice and that when government changes they don't just try and reinvent the wheel. Really appreciate your experience and insights as always. Best regards, Daniel.
    • Daniel Kirmatzis
      For all speakers at Digital Manufacturing Week 2020 - please introduce yourselves to the Community and let us know more about you and the topic(s) you will be discussing at this year's event.  
    • Graham Cooper
      We have a problem in the UK that in that our educational system is not providing the young engineers, technicians and skilled workers that the economy needs. This skills gap is set to become a skills cliff as a generation of people with these much needed skills retire. This problem is recognised by government but in typical shallow short term political thinking the solutions offered up are gestures rather than answers. We are in this current mess with too few technically qualified people for a variety of reasons, the biggest of which is that technical and vocational education in the UK has been looked down upon and treated as inferior to academic education. In such a climate why would a bright young student select a technical/vocational route ? A significant part of this 'value' problem is that everybody in the country knows and recognises and can therefore value GCSE, A Level and Degree qualifications, but very few can decipher the value of an Applied General Qualification. [AGQs are Level 3 vocational qualifications typically studied at key stage 5 – is that clear now readers ?]. In my experience, very few people outside of education can explain the relative value of a vocational qualification to the ones commonly understood. In turn this confusion is significantly increased by the politicians constantly changing names to give the appearance that they are actually doing something productive. NVQs (National Vocational Qualification) became QCFs (Qualification and Credit Framework) became RQFs (Regulated Qualifications Framework). - That cleared things up a lot didn't it ? Now, to clarify this confused picture, the government (accompanied by great fanfare) is introducing T Levels !!!! Yet another acronym and yet another source of confusion. It does not take a great deal of prescience to confidently predict that T Levels will be viewed as inferior to A Levels by both employers and perhaps more importantly by the young people picking the subjects they will study.  T Levels are not an answer. This introduction of a new qualification is simply an empty gesture that will increase confusion. Further confusion will make our very serious problems bigger nor smaller.
    • Daniel Kirmatzis
      T-Levels were introduced in England in September 2020. For more information see the government website here What are they? From the government website: 'T Levels are new courses which follow GCSEs and are equivalent to 3 A levels. These 2-year courses, which launched September 2020, have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for work, further training or study. T Levels offer students a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience during an industry placement of at least 315 hours (approximately 45 days).' Start date and providers The first 3 T Levels are now available at selected colleges, schools and other providers across England. A further 7 T Levels will be available in September 2021 with the remaining courses starting in either 2022 or 2023. The government has published a list of the providers who are offering T Level courses up to September 2022. Find out more If you’re interested in finding out more, visit the government's T Levels website where you can add your postcode to find colleges, schools or other providers who’ll be offering the first 3 T Levels in 2020. Watch industry placement videos to hear from students and employers who have benefited from industry placements. Employers interested in finding out more about industry placements, can contact 0800 0150 600, email tlevel.placement@education.gov.uk or visit the employer section of the T Level website. Read the T Level action plan for detailed information about how we’re developing the T Level qualifications for post-16 students.
    • Daniel Kirmatzis
      An interesting article on The Manufacturer today by @Jonny Williamson who sat down with Simon Jacobson, Vice President of Gartner’s Supply Chain Research team, to discuss tribal ways of working, the potential for an industrial gig economy and how to become comfortable with uncertainty.  Read the article here Question Once you've read the article let us know your thoughts on the theme of unlocking knowledge within your existing workforce. How do you capture the know how of your employees so that when and if they leave your organisation you still retain that knowledge for your business?
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