Mat Wright

The British Council’s work in the skills area aims to enhance the quality of skills systems by encouraging closer links between education, employers and policy makers in the UK and worldwide. We also work to enable skill development that better meets the needs of individuals and the economy through high-quality, relevant, respected and innovative provision. 

Over the last year, we have produced a number of new resources capturing the main characteristics of the UK sector, plus a series of research pieces exploring the governance of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and its implications. 

These resources — outlined below — are designed to support international development and cooperation. 

The UK TVET sector 

A good knowledge and understanding of the strengths and priorities of the UK skills sector underpins and informs our skills work. 

In recent years, the UK TVET sector has faced continuing change. To help keep up with the changes and differences across the UK, we have produced two short, practical resources reflecting some of these changes and explaining the key concepts and features that underpin the system. 

The UK Skills Sector Brochure 2017 provides an overview of the current skills landscape and covers all of the main areas of skills policy and delivery across the UK. This includes information regarding how it is funded and how training providers operate. The resource also highlights the different roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders within the UK system. 

In addition, the Distinctive Features of Skill Development in the UK expands upon the guiding principles of the UK approach to skills development and identifies areas of UK good practice, strengths of the UK system, and the benefits of collaboration with the UK skills sector.  

Governance research 

For the British Council, research offers an opportunity to deliver on our mission in a more informed, relevant and targeted way by helping us identify and develop opportunities for innovation and partnership with stakeholders in the UK and around the world.

Led by global developments and demand, in 2016 we commissioned two research projects: International Reflection on TVET Governance and Sub National Governance in TVET

The first research piece examined the question of which Ministry should lead skills development. The second piece looked at the contrasting mechanisms for devolution of skills development policy to regions and cities.

To complete the TVET Governance series, we have commissioned a third piece of research TVET Governance: The Role of the Institutional Leaders which will look at the effect of governance upon institutional leaders in vocational education and how they interact, plus desire to interact with governing agencies at different levels.

Look out for the report which will be available on our website in February 2018.