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Education and Training

  • 66% of the lifelong learning workforce is qualified to NVQ level 4 or above.
  • Only 6% hold qualifications below NVQ level 2 and only 3% hold no qualifications at all – both considerably less than the economy as a whole (15% and 11% respectively).
  • Between 2001 and 2005, there was a 17% increase in the proportion of the lifelong learning workforce with NVQ level 4 or above qualification, compared with an overall sector employment growth of 11%.
  • There has also been a 32%reduction in the proportion of the workforce with no qualifications, and a reduction in the proportion with qualifications below NVQ level 2.

Source: LLUK SSA Stage 1 UK Report 2006

 

Entry requirements and progression in the sector

Community learning and development

Entry requirements and progression in the industry are varied. To become a community development worker or youth support work, applicants need practical experience of working in the community or voluntary sector. Volunteers do not require any qualifications, as training will be available on-the-job or gained through work-based (or college based) qualifications. Youth support workers can go on to complete professional training part-time or by distance learning.

Community education officers, depending on the job, will usually need: a further education teaching qualification and experience; a youth and community qualification and experience; or have gained paid or voluntary community education or development experience. A higher education degree in, for example, educational studies, community education or communication studies can be an advantage.

Most youth workers in England have a qualification validated by the National Youth Agency and from 2010 all new qualifications in youth work will be a degree level or higher in England. Entry without a higher level qualification is possible, but applicants must commit to a programme of training.

Source: LLUK LMI report March 2010

Further education

To become a further education lecturer/teacher/trainer applicants need at least a level 3 qualification (for example A level or NVQ level 3) in the subject area they want to teach or extensive vocational experience. For some academic subjects a degree is required. Applicants also need basic skills in English and Maths of NVQ level 3 or above and to complete a teaching qualification. This qualification has to be is recognised by Standards Verification UK (SVUK), but can be undertaken once in employment. Under new government legislation in England, lecturers and teachers in further education need to be registered with the Institute for Learning (IfL).

To become an NVQ assessor applicants need occupational competence in the sector they will be assessing, qualifications in the area is usually required, especially NVQs at level 3 or above, and an assessment qualification.

To become an Internal verifier applicants need occupational competence in the sector they will be assessing, qualifications in the area is usually required, especially NVQs at level 3 or above, an assessment qualification and a Level 4 award in Conducting Internal Quality Assurance of the Assessment Process.

Source: LLUK LMI report March 2010

Higher education

To become a lecturer/senior lecturer, undergraduate and doctoral degrees relevant to the post are required. In commercial areas such as law, finance and medicine, work experience takes precedence over educational experience. Although some roles are more teaching focused, applicants will need to demonstrate the ability to publish in academic publications and the ability to secure grant funding and produce original research.

There is no legal requirement to gain a teaching qualification, but higher education institutions that are members of the Higher Education Academy often require it. New employees are increasingly required to gain a postgraduate qualification in Teaching for Higher Education, usually approved by the Higher Education Academy. These courses include Diplomas and Masters Degrees and are for people who are teaching.

To become a researcher, applicants are usually studying for, or have recently completed, a PhD. In the social science, other routes are possible.

Source: LLUK LMI report March 2010

Libraries, archives and information services

Entry requirements and progression in the industry are varied. The most common route into the profession is to take a degree in Librarianship and Information Management accredited by Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP). To become a qualified Archivist, applicants need to gain a postgraduate qualification in archive studies, or archives and record management, recognised by the Society of Archivists. Work experience is essential for those wishing to enrol on postgraduate courses.

To become an archivist, applicants need a degree, followed by a post-graduate qualification recognised by the Society of Archivists. The following degree subjects can be useful: History; Information science; Library studies; and Modern or ancient languages. Work experience, gained through volunteering, is essential to gain entry onto a postgraduate Archivist programme. Competition for places on postgraduate Archivist programmes is high.

To become an information assistant, applicants are required to have an NVQ Level 2 (or equivalent) or 4 GCSEs (grades A-C, including English and Maths or the equivalent), 2 years relevant experience and an appropriate IT qualification

There are several routes to becoming a librarian: studying for a university qualification before starting work; or by finding a job as a library assistant and qualify by gaining experience and work-based training combined with some study. For library assistant roles, applicants will need at least 5 GCSEs.

Source: LLUK LMI report March 2010

Work-based learning

To become a training officer, entrants start as a trainee or assistant in a personnel or training department or from other educationally focused roles. Applicants will need company or sector knowledge and experience.

To become a training manager, applicants need experience as a training officer, and a degree or postgraduate qualification (in a subject such as business studies, human resources or communications). For those without a degree, there are opportunities to progress from a training officer or personnel position by gaining experience and a professional qualification, such as those offered by Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

To become an NVQ assessor applicants need occupational competence in the sector they will be assessing, qualifications in the area is usually required, especially NVQs at level 3 or above, and an assessment qualification. To become an Internal verifier applicants also need an assessment qualification and a Level 4 award in Conducting Internal Quality Assurance of the Assessment Process.

There are good opportunities for progression. For instance, in larger organisations staff are able to progress from a training officer to senior training officer or training manager. With experience and knowledge of the market, self-employment and freelancing can be an option, as departments often bring in expertise as required. Independent trainers also often move into full-time employment.

Source: LLUK LMI report March 2010

 

Training

10% of English employers offer apprenticeships and 5% currently have staff undertaking an apprenticeship.

At least 85% of English employers offered training in the past 12 months. 72% of English and 6% of Northern Ireland employers are more likely to provide off-the-job training than lifelong learning employers in Wales (54%).

More employers in the community learning and development and further education sub-sectors reported that training plans are in place compared with fewer in the library, archives and information services sub-sector. The majority of employers also reported that their training budgets had remained the same since the end of the last financial year (2008-2009).

Employers reported that, for all levels of staff, the greatest amount of accredited training is supplied through formal in-house training, higher education providers, commercial work-based learning suppliers and professional bodies. For all levels of staff, non-accredited training is supplied through formal in-house training, informal ‘learning on the job’ and commercial work-based learning suppliers.

The majority of employers cite financial constraints and a lack of time to release staff as significant barriers to providing more training. Additional barriers to training include:

  • The length of training courses
  • Location of training
  • Personal barriers
  • Gaps in provision

Source: LLUK Sector Skills Assessment UK 2010 and National Employers Skills Survey 2009