Rod Bristow, UK president of our education business, spoke at yesterday’s Future Possible conference in London, organised by the Gazelle group of entrepreneurial further education colleges.
Speaking on the same bill as UK education minister Matthew Hancock MP and John Cridland from the Confederation of British Industry, Rod set out the twin challenges we face: meeting the workplace challenges of the 21st century and working to ensure that UK education matches or exceeds the best in the world.
On the first challenge, Rod confirmed that we are developing a number of different employability initiatives that will help the next generation of learners become ‘work ready’. This includes placing importance on enterprise and leadership skills. However we also need to work with FE Colleges to create the right learning culture where these skills will flourish.
In terms of the challenge of matching or surpassing the world’s best, Rod argued that globalisation is as important in further education as it is in higher education, where the challenges and opportunities of globalisation are already well advanced.
Young people across the UK and beyond understand that the companies they want to work for need to be globally competitive and that means their workforce, their knowledge and their skills, have to be globally competitive too. We have an opportunity to support individuals to pursue rich and varied careers which span across national borders.
To grasp this opportunity, the UK can take a lead in defining and championing what high quality looks like in vocational education globally. And here at Pearson, we want to work with colleges in helping UK FE become a global education brand – not least in the area of entrepreneurship, which has resonance around the world.
Read the full text of Rod’s speech.
This article first appeared on the Pearson Blog and is reproduced with permission.