Welcome from Jim Crompton: Move with the times

Apprenticeships have a long record of evolving to meet the needs of learners and employers, and must do so again today.

As chair of the Society for Education and Training (SET) Management Board, I am delighted to pen this introduction to the latest issue of inTuition.

I have now been working in education and training for some 20 years, from initial teacher training to management and leadership of training delivery. More recently, I have developed strategy and policy to shape professional development for the British Army and Armed Forces. Throughout that time, I have been amazed by the ways in which education and training provide opportunities for professional development, life skills and social mobility.

This issue demonstrates some amazing practice from across the sector. It includes our membership review of last year – how the sector responded to the events of 2021 and how we continue to shape the further education and training sector from the lessons we learn. While the emergence of the Omicron variant provided further uncertainty for society as a whole towards the end of last year and into 2022, the further education and training sector has consistently adapted to ensure learners are supported. While I hope that we can look forward to fewer restrictions over the coming months, I have been extremely impressed by the resilience demonstrated across the sector. Adaptability is essential, particularly in the current climate, and apprenticeships have long been at the leading edge of that. In the wake of the pandemic and changing employer needs, they continue to evolve to meet the needs of learners and employers.

Our cover feature examines how apprenticeships are developing, as well as highlighting the challenges that must be overcome if the model is to remain effective. One issue almost everyone in the sector will have encountered is that of resilience, something that has really been challenged over the last two years. Our feature on page 22 explores how leaders and teachers can help manage stress, and how to find support when it’s needed. Elsewhere in this issue, we take a look at one of the oldest elements of the further education and training sector, in the form of land-based colleges. Many of these were set up in the late 19th century as the country sought to feed a growing population, and today these are again flourishing as the environment and sustainability become critical issues. You can read more about this on page 19. Finally, and very excitingly, the SET Conference will return as a face-to-face event at the Vox in Birmingham on Thursday 3 November, after two years as an online event. I can hardly wait to see you there, and out and about doing the most incredible job supporting learners during the course of this year.

Jim Crompton FSET, chair, SET Management Board

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