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Simplifying the Education Sector – Acacia Training – FE News

Simplifying the education sector

Vikki Sylvester, Founder and CEO of leading education training provider, Acacia Training, discusses why the education sector needs to be simplified.

Every sector comes with its own book of industry specific language, often official and unofficial. In the education sector alone, we can find ourselves using different terms and acronyms that appear commonplace to us, but for someone who isn’t familiar it can be confusing or even alienating to try to decode.

With the learning and education sector constantly developing, the language is continuing to evolve. Terms including SLA (Service Level Agreement), ELC (Early Learning Credits) and AEB (Adult Education Budget) are everyday words for those well versed in the sector, but those coming to learn or those wanting to educate or offer education might find it overwhelming to understand especially if they haven’t been in education since school.

For courses and learning in specific industries including healthcare and social care, the terminology can become even more complicated due to the scientific nature of the field. What should be simple to understand, can become complex and tricky to process and the language can become a barrier preventing those from accessing education.

Accessing education has become hard to decipher

For those eager to learn, the process of education should be simple. Researching a course provider, selecting the right program or course of study, accessing funding and then enrolling to study should be the route to gaining qualifications. However, it’s not always that straight forward.

The changes in language and the field, particularly for those such as healthcare, can also become tricky. Even accessing finance to support learning is ever changing and it can be difficult to know where to turn, with bursaries, scholarships, funding and finance are all options to consider.

Additionally, understanding if qualifications and experience are the right fit can be another barrier and if it’s been some time since attending school, then qualifications learners might have can seem outdated. For example, the old scoring system for GCSEs can be difficult to compare to the new system and then difficult to understand.

All of these factors culminate in making it harder to attract, train and retain workers in skilled sectors including healthcare, social care, early education and even industries such as digital, beauty and hospitality. With potential talent finding it difficult to access training, it means the education sector will ultimately see less learners and uptake of courses and training. This can adversely affect sectors, which are often struggling for skilled workers and trained professionals in their field.

The barriers to education are stopping learners from accessing education

Breaking down disadvantages is the key to getting learners into education, and to embrace the qualifications they need to take the next step in their career.

For employers wishing to hire, understanding the terminology is still necessary. For those working in sectors such as healthcare or social care, it might be many years since they themselves studied and trained. As curriculum and career paths have evolved, it might mean that employers are being presented with unfamiliar qualifications, studying and even experience; which can all still be relevant to subjects and learning.

Education and training should be made simpler, but more importantly it should be more accessible.

The future of the education sector

Without barriers to education, accessing more qualifications and development would become infinitely easier. For those already working in much needed sectors such as health and social care, it can mean accessing additional qualifications to upskill or further specializations which can then benefit the sectors.

As a result of opening up education, it will see more learners choosing to pursue education and for employers it can mean an upskilled and prepared workforce, who can put their learning into practice.

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