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As a veteran of Adult and Community Based Learning I became aware of the concept of enterprise in FE a few years ago. Because we teach Enterprise we can be enterprising.

However my experience suggests that this is not the case. So few members of the academic world are the natural risk takers we need in the enterprise economies it creates a real time challenge for the whole sector.

I will give a specific example - managing change is a simple subject area because you can apply specific management principles but creating change or offering dynamic solutions is a foriegn language in the FE world, few tutors have the skills set to support the learning and risk taking.

How can we tackle this gap in faculty knowledge? I would be interested in your reply.

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Mark

I think you're right. With our aim to encourage a 'culture' of enterprise we must win over educators and learners. Many staff members have no experience of business or innovation due to having spent most of their working lives in the education sector. So selling enterprise can sometimes be very frustrating. Having said that most business people have no idea of the challenges of teaching...

So we try to bring as much industry expertise and entrepreneurs into colleges to give talks, workshops etc. Hopefully this inspires learners and teaches educators something too.

Perhaps a further programme of knowledge swapping would be a good way of expanding this process?
I think it is an interesting point that in Work Based Learning, to be an Assessor or Verifier you have to be 'competent' (it should be renamed 'industry expert' in my humble opinion). Many of the Assessor's I have come across have experience of running their own SME's (particularly in trades) or have been managers with real targets (£) to exceed.

I still count Vocational Education under FE (it seems strange to me, how many people do not see us as all working in the same sector). I agree with Luc, many people in the sector only have experience of teaching, but there are a lot of people out there working with learners who have run their own business, been very successful in industry and want to give something back into their industry and to learners.


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