The government has unveiled a new scheme entitled ‘Taking Teaching Further’ that is aimed at recruiting technical experts and have them retrain as teachers to develop a further education career.

The project will cost £5 million and focus on technical engineering and computing experts.

The scheme was unveiled by Anne Milton, the apprenticeship and skills Minister, who said the scheme will recruit 150 technical professionals to become teachers in further education which could prove to be a crucial part of the government’s gold standard new T-level qualifications.

These new T-levels are being implemented from September 2020 with technical courses which focus on subjects including engineering and computing that will be the equivalent of A-levels. The government hopes that the new qualifications will close a widening skills gap.

Ms Milton said: “Further education teaching is a rewarding career and this is an opportunity for passing on skills and knowledge for someone else to enjoy a rewarding career.”

The aim of Taking Teaching Further

She added that the aim of Taking Teaching Further is to attract the best from industry into further education to help students get the skills and knowledge that industry is looking for.

Ms Milton explained: “We’re improving education for every person and plugging the skills gap and this is important to our modern industrial strategy to ensure we are equipped for the jobs of the future.”

She added: “If you’ve had a career in industry and want to help the new generation, do get involved.”

The President of the Association of Colleges, and also the principal at York College, Alison Birkinshaw, said: “It’s crucial that our colleges recruit and retain and also continually develop lecturers and other staff so they are up-to-date with skills, particularly for those working in shortage specialisms.

“The programme is an exciting way to support those from industry who want to teach the skills they’ve learned.”

‘The programme will bring in new expertise and talent’

The Education and Training Foundation’s chief executive, David Russell, said: “The programme will bring in new expertise and talent, improve learner outcomes and develop and support the existing workforce.”

The money being provided will help fund course costs for teacher training and also help pay for mentoring and other support.

The aim is to fund 40 innovative projects that will help develop local collaborations and partnerships.