December message from Dan

The festive season has come round as quickly as it always does. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled in your inbox this month for a Christmas surprise from the Skills Forward team!

I cannot believe it has been a year since I joined the Skills Forward, and what a year it has been. I am immensely proud of what we have achieved since January and could not have done any of the amazing things without the amazing staff who work here at Skills Forward. I am very lucky to lead a forward thinking team of people who inspire me every day.

This past year, there have been some really big changes at Skills Forward including a full rebrand and relaunch of Skills Forward (from ForSkills), our first major bid win, becoming Bett award finalists and launching some fantastic new products including the reformed Functional Skills and most recently Skills Work. We have also seen the addition of many new faces at Skills Forward this year who have all been wonderful additions to the team.

It seems that in the education sector, change is the only constant and it is so important that we are able to adapt to change as I have recently discussed on our Skills Forward blog on the skills employers are looking for (read more here). We embrace change here at Skills Forward and the team have certainly been through lots of change since I was appointed in January.

As we stand on the cusp of Industry 4.0, employers are looking at how employees can adapt to new situations and technology and it can be difficult for both to keep up. However, there are some basic, transferable skills that will always remain as important. With this in mind, we are excited to see how our innovative new product, Skills Work, (endorsed by IEP), will support providers and employers to accurately assess, measure and track intangible employability skills in order to nurture and develop them. You can read more about this new product later in the newsletter or sign up for our product demo webinar here.

As mentioned in previous newsletters, one of the big changes of the year is the reform to Functional Skills. This reform was made in order to ensure these qualifications better met employer needs in terms of the knowledge and skills that learners achieve. At Skills Forward, we understand that this change has meant a large amount of upheaval for providers as they make the transition. That’s why we have worked with the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual), the Department for Education (DfE), and external subject matter experts to ensure our assessments, diagnostics, resources and mock assessments are quality assured and guaranteed to appropriately prepare your learners for assessment. The addition of our ground-breaking interactive videos which are available now, cover the new standards. We have also recruited additional content developers, who are subject matter experts with years of first hand delivery experience.

Another big change the industry has seen is the introduction of T levels which will be available from September 2020. The T levels will be equivalent to 3 A-levels and have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so that the content meets the needs of the industry and prepares students for work. As part of the NCFE Group, we were delighted that NCFE has been selected as the delivery partner for 5 of the T Levels which are the Digital Business Services, Digital Support Services, Health, Healthcare Science and Science T Levels from 2021.

As we approach 2020, I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and we really look forward to working with you again in the New Year. Thank you for your continued support and feedback, which helps us to become even better.

Finally, a massive thank you to all of my amazing team, it’s been a very busy year but we have done it and I am very proud of you all.