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The Education Innovation conference and exhibition takes place in Manchester on Thursday and Friday. Here, speakers Bob Harrison and Pauline Odulinski give insights into their talks at which Skills Minister Matthew Hancock is expected to appear via videolink.

Employers tell us they want learners to be better prepared to enter the working environment.

Whether a small enterprise with a team of less than ten, or a FTSE 100 company, organisations need employees with work skills who can problem solve, communicate effectively, use initiative and be flexible.

They also need employees who can use, develop and be creative using the right equipment for the job, and who can effectively operate modern technology in its many forms.

As key providers of people to the workforce, and as employer needs evolve at an ever more rapid pace, the education and training sector recognises it has a duty and responsibility to build effective relationships with employers to understand their technological wants and needs.

The sector recognises it has a duty and responsibility to build effective relationships with employers to understand their technological wants and needs

Many young people are of course already adept at using and indeed creating technology but, given the speed at which it is evolving, we need to ensure they all have the skills not only to comfortably use it, but to innovate and progress alongside it.

With the right support, encouragement and nurturing, young people can take their skill and capability to a new level in partnership with their teachers, instructors and the business community.

The sector recognises the need to horizon scan, in partnership with employers, to lead the development of relevant long term learning strategies, to integrate employers further into curriculum design and development, and to ensure that the FE and training workforce has the up to date skills needed to equip learners effectively.

What is now needed is support for the sector to engage with employers to develop strategic leadership with a clear focus on how to ensure learners have a great, interesting, innovative learning experience and also are able to operate in the competitive global market.

At the Education and Training Foundation we are about to commission work which will provide an opportunity for the sector to develop innovative projects that support the development of FE workforce skills to enhance learning with the effective use of technology.

It is pleasing to see the government is also serious about investing in these skills through Feltag and the Education Technology Action Group (Etag), and the foundation has committed to be a part of this at the highest levels.

Together, we have a key role to play in making technology work for employers.

Pauline Odulinski OBE, interim director of leadership, management and governance, Education and Training Foundation

Harrison’s talk, Findings of Feltag — The way forwards for FE and technology, is due to take place on day one of the conference at 1.10pm. It is expected to take place in the Blue Seminar Room, sponsored by FE Week, at 1.10pm with Professor Pauline Odulinski, OBE, due to take part in the subsequent panel debate on the Findings of Feltag and its Implications for FE. Mr Harrison is also expected to speak on day two, at 10.20am in the Green Seminar Room, on Whose curriculum is it anyway? A critical look at the development of the new national curriculum and the challenges that schools and teachers face. Bob Harrison’s talk, Findings of Feltag — The way forwards for FE and technology, is due to take place on day one of the conference at 1.10pm. It is expected to take place in the Blue Seminar Room, sponsored by FE Week, at 1.10pm with Professor Pauline Odulinski, OBE, due to take part in the subsequent panel debate on the Findings of Feltag and its Implications for FE. Mr Harrison is also expected to speak on day two, at 10.20am in the Green Seminar Room, on Whose curriculum is it anyway? A critical look at the development of the new national curriculum and the challenges that schools and teachers face.

Visit www.educationinnovation.co.uk for information on how to register for the conference for free