The wait is over!


Series 4 of our hugely popular podcast, Let’s Go Further, is finally here.


Building on the success of series one, two and three – and with a general election on the horizon, series 4 is shining a spotlight on the FE and skills policy issues that could and should feature on the election manifestos of our main parties. From apprenticeships to the role of FE in a green economy, the skills gap and the brave new world of Artificial Intelligence, we’ll be getting the inside track from a range of leading experts.


Shane Chowen, Editor of FE Week, is joining us as guest presenter and the series is being produced in collaboration with FE Week.

Launching on Tuesday 26 March, episode 1, FE: how do we shift from rhetoric to action? sets the scene for the series by discussing the big issues facing the further education sector right now.


Shane is joined by Baroness Alison Wolf, a crossbench member of the House of Lords and a former skills policy advisor to Number 10 Downing Street, and Sir Michael Barber, who was until recently an advisor at the Department for Education and the Treasury on skills policy delivery.


Their discussion covers funding, apprenticeship reform and levy, and the role of employers. Michael comments on how failure to see skills as a crucial element of economic growth is a problem:


“The evidence that skills, making sure people in the right places have the right skills to do the jobs of the future is fundamental to economic growth needs to be spelt out and made again and again…”


Michael also warns against the skills system assuming victim status:


“They say ‘what’s the government going to do about it?’ – and kind of wait rather than say, there’s a problem, this is what we’re going to do about it…….there needs to be a sense of momentum and not being a victim, being a change agent.”


Alison is critical of the Mayoral Combined Authorities, commenting they could do more:


“I really think the mayors need to step up a bit. Actually, quite a lot of the money is already devolved to the Mayoral Combined Authorities, and what has been to me very depressing is how little they’ve actually done to take advantage of their new freedoms.”


The episode concludes with Shane asking Alison and Michael what their long-term goals would be for the next government.


Stay tuned for episode two which will be looking at the skills gap from an employer perspective.

Let’s Go Further is produced by the Skills and Education Group in collaboration with Research Podcasts and is available wherever you receive your podcasts, including YouTube. You can follow the Skills and Education Group on LinkedIn, Twitter and via their website.


New episodes of the podcast will be published  throughout Spring and Summer.


For all media enquiries please contact Catherine McDonald at Popping Orange Communications.

Listen to all episodes of Let's Go Further on YouTube.

Let's Go Further together!