If you are considering a teaching career in Further Education you may be imagining yourself in a traditional role in a college classroom. However, post 16 education and training is a far more diverse sector than you may realise. In fact, FE involves all forms of adult and continuing education, offender learning and work-based training offered by a huge range of community providers, both in groups or one-to-one.
The government aims to shift the focus of Modern Apprenticeships and other post-16 training from the classroom to the workplace and has introduced measures to give employers more influence on training provision. To meet this need, increasing numbers of further education providers are collaborating with employers to provide on-site training, leading to more opportunities for teachers, lecturers and tutors to work outside the traditional classroom environment.
Non-college training providers
Non-college providers play a significant role in helping some of the most disadvantaged in society, using training to heighten skills and help students to secure, retain and progress in employment.
Training providers include:
- Private/independent training organisations.
- Charities and not-for-profit organisations (such as the YMCA or The Worker’s Educational Association).
- Adult education and community learning provided by local authorities.
- Offender learning offered by youth offending organisations and prisons.
Organisations work closely with government to provide further education to employed young people and adults who have left school with no or few qualifications and are therefore unable to progress in a career, ex-offenders and other vulnerable people who have not been able to enter or retain employment.
How training is provided is organised by individual providers but you could find yourself teaching one-to-one in a student’s workplace or in a group setting in prison or specialist centre. The focus of training is often on Maths and English, Apprenticeships, computer skills, Functional Skills, GCSE provision and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).
There is no unified list of the different providers but the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) gives details of its members by region. You can find it here.
Teaching in a non-college training organisation is diverse, challenging and hugely rewarding. You will generally be visiting your students in their workplaces, which means you could be on the road a great deal. This type of role involves engaging with students in their own environment, which helps to give teachers a greater understanding of their lives and the educational challenges they face. You would also be required to liaise with employers to ensure the training you provide meets the needs of both the students and organisation.
Ally Howell is a qualified teacher who delivers work-based functional skills and GCSE English to a variety of learners including apprentices, Study Programme and Traineeships through the YMCA. She teaches students on a one-to-one and group learning basis.
Ally told us what she enjoys about her job: “I took the role because I enjoy working with a broad range of ages and people, from 16 upwards. I enjoy helping young people who haven’t previously achieved in education to try and improve their literacy and their life chances.
“As well as delivering work-based learning, another part of my role involves delivering training to other tutors, develop high quality resources and liaising with tutors across the country so that they are all delivering high quality learning opportunities.
“I enjoy working with a broader range of people from a variety of backgrounds. Also going out and about into people’s workplaces, which adds interest and its own set of unique challenges to overcome.”
In terms of working conditions, salaries vary but are in line with hourly contracts provided in FE colleges. You may be required to travel, so having your own mode of transport is desirable (most employers include mileage). The qualifications you will need depend on the role but many organisations provide on-the job training for those with a minimum level 2 qualification in Maths and English. There is a broad range of opportunities to work part-time and flexible hours and you may have to work some evenings.
HOLEX: A network of community learning and skills providers.
AELP: Association of Employment and Learning Providers.
EducationUK/British Council: Overview of training providers in the UK.
British Accreditation Council (BAC): Providing accreditation to enhance the standards and quality of independent further and higher education.