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NFEC Announces a revised programme of its Online Seminar series

A monthly schedule covering subjects that are of interest to practitioners and managers of Technical Education programmes; Zoom Seminars dealing with major strategic issues topics including:

  • Developments in qualification strategy:
    • The ongoing development of technical qualifications at L4 and L5.
    • The future of BTECs and other L3 qualifications.
    • The launch of the Engineering T-Levels for first year delivery.
    • Revised Apprenticeship Standards.
    • The changing landscape of L3 and University entrance requirements.
  • New and emerging technology presentations.
  • Institutes of Technology and related "partnership networks".
  • EPA for Apprentice programmes.
  • Ofsted experiences from the front line.

Physical Seminars

It is likely that NFEC will host some "physical" seminars during the year, full or part day events, probably of a "local" nature, bringing members together to look at - specific topics, opportunities for sharing ideas, experience and practice, a chance for practitioners to get together.

Focus Groups

NFEC will host a series of "focus Groups", bringing member representatives together for less formal discussions.

Seminar Topics

The NFEC Directors are asking for your feedback and requests:

  • What subjects we should be covering, specific issues that we can bring to these forums?
  • Are there topics that you would like to present on?
  • Have you seen something that we can replicate or contribute towards?

NFEC Website Showcase

NFEC, invites members to submit items for the NFEC website, a showcase for your organisation, department, resource application, business or student projects. Please get in touch to discuss.

Latest News

On behalf the Machining Employers Trailblazer Group

11th March 2022

Machining Apprenticeship Standard Consultation

As you may be aware, as a result of the Engineering and Manufacturing Route Review, the IFA&TE required the Trailblazer Groups to break the current Level Three Engineering Technician Standard into separate Standards for each of the current pathways.

NFEC remains a member of the overarching Automotive and the Aerospace & Airworthiness Trailblazer Groups, and also has been heavily involved in the sub groups re-writing the Machining Standard, and more recently the Mechatronics Standard.

With our active support over the past 18 months representatives from employers across the wider Engineering sector, supported by AO's and PI's have been working on developing a replacement Level 3 Apprenticeship Standard for the Machinist occupation which can be offered for use by businesses in the Advanced Engineering Manufacturing sector, and one that is compliant with the 'Apprentice Builder' requirements of the IFA&TE. This work has been predominantly facilitated and Chaired by GTA England and we have all been working hard to ensure the needs of the many stakeholders can be satisfied as far as is possible.

This revised standard will replace pathway 9 in the current Engineering Technician Standard (ST0457).

Following approval of the occupational proposal by the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education in 2022, we are seeking views on the Standard which defines a series of duties commonly undertaken in the sector, along with the knowledge, skills and behaviours associated with each duty.

Please view the proposed standard. This is in the format required by IFA&TE.

One of the important changes to the current pathway is that the two Level 2 qualifications and the two Level 3 mandated qualifications in the current pathway will be replaced by a single mandated Level Three qualification. This will include and require at least one Level 2 unit taken from the Level 2 Diploma in Engineering Operations (Skills) Competence Qualification to be completed. This revised qualification will comprise 720 GLH.

Apprenticeships are a key component of the growth agenda. The Government is keen that more high quality apprenticeships are created to meet the needs of employers and apprentices, and help drive up growth and productivity across the economy. We would like to invite you to comment on the Level 3 Machinist Standard before it is finalised for submission for Government approval. We are hoping to achieve this in May of this year.

As part of this consultation we would be grateful if you could please answer the questions on the survey shown below to provide your views on the Standard, including any suggestions for changes which you would wish to see to make the standard useful to your business. Responses will be treated in confidence. The survey will take approximately 6 minutes to complete. By all means send this link to any of your employer contacts and wider networks. The more responses we get the better.

If you have any specific questions on the proposed Standard please send them to enquiries at enquiries@nfec.org.uk

Please take the survey here: https://forms.office.com/r/pr9rRj8PFZ

Please complete the survey before the close of business on Friday 25th March 2022

Thank you in advance on behalf the Machining Employers Trailblazer Group for your completion of the survey and the thoughts you provide.


Government Consultation

8th March 2022

Review of post 16 Technical Qualifications at level 2 and below in England

Launch date 2nd March - Respond by 27th April 2022


Bob Millington has announced his retirement

2nd February 2022

Bob Millington

Bob Millington has been a key figure within NFEC since its inception in June 1993. Whilst maintaining his career in Further Education Management with a focus on Engineering, Bob has served NFEC as Executive Director and Trustee and has represented NFEC and its members on a wide range of national consultation groups and working parties. In 2006 Bob was awarded MBE for "Services to Further Education and Engineering Training". Most recently Bob held the NFEC position of Associate Director for National Liaison.

NFEC and its many partner organisations thank Bob for his dedicated support. Bob retains his Lifetime NFEC membership, we will see him regularly through his participation in seminars and events for some time to come.

Enjoy a good retirement Bob


Launch of Wave 4 of the T Levels Capital fund and Publication of T Level Action Plan

18th December 2021

Today the Department for Education announced the launch of Wave 4 of the T Levels Capital fund and opened the window for applications for the Buildings and Facilities Improvement Grant. This funding is aimed at providers who are delivering T Levels in September 2023.

There will be over £150m available for providers, split across the Specialist Equipment Allocation - which will be a one-off payment made to all providers delivering new T Level routes in academic year 2023-24 (providers do not need to apply for this) - and the Buildings and Facilities Improvement Grant, which is now open for applications.

The Department has also updated the list of approved projects under Wave 3 of T Levels Capital funding.

The Department has also published of the 2021 T Level Action Plan. This follows the first four T Level Action Plans published in 2017, 2018, 2019 and January 2021 and updates providers, employers and other stakeholders on the progress of the T Level rollout and preparations for delivery in 2022 and beyond.

Key updates include:

  • 5,450 new students started T Levels in 2021, and 3,550 students started T Level Transition Programmes
  • More than 70 higher education providers have now confirmed that they will consider T Levels for entry into higher education in 2022 including Newcastle, Cardiff, Reading, York, Nottingham Trent, Lancaster, and Portsmouth universities, and we expect that number to grow as T Levels become more established in the technical education system and are rolled out in more subjects
  • Over 400 providers have registered to deliver T Levels from 2023 so far, including all General Further Education Colleges in England

Emerging Skills Project - Paid Train the Trainer places and free content

23rd November 2021

As part of the DfE funded Emerging Skills Programme, a series of training sessions are being run on the portfolio of Industrial Digitisation Technology units that are being developed. The purpose of these sessions is to equip training staff to deliver these units to regional employers.

A number of trainers have already signed up to attend specific units, and are being encouraged to attend the Train the Trainer for other related units in the IDT portfolio so they can gain an understanding of the wider set. Attendance will be reimbursed at the rate of £400/day plus up to £100 travel expenses where applicable.

Full details of the units and Eventbrite booking pages for the Train the Trainer sessions can be found at emergingskillsproject.com/courses/category/industrial-digitisation-technologies-industry-4-0/

NFEC Free Seminars

T Level Developments

Friday 29th April 2022

This seminar returns to the subject of T Level Qualifications.

Find out more and watch the seminar

Annual Conference

The 2020 National Conference was cancelled due to Covid 19. Consideration for a 2021 Conference will be made later in the year. Seminars will continue throughout 2021.

Business Members Products

NFEC values the support of its Business Members whose product displays and technical presentations are a key resource for Provider Members.

View these pages to see some of the latest product developments, equipment, services and information. The links in the Business Members section connect with company websites, product catalogues and presentations.

View and support NFEC's Business Members

NFEC Events

The current unprecedented global and UK situation calls for all of us to make the best judgements we can in the light of the official guidance we are receiving. Therefore reluctantly, the Board of Directors, have decided to cancel all future NFEC events planned for the next few months, until further notice and hopefully an improving situation emerges.

For more information and meeting notes go to our Regions page

Membership Fees

Due to the current situation the previously planned increase in membership fees has been cancelled.

NFEC membership fees are held at Institutional / Corporate / Company Membership: £460.00

Individual Professional: £100.00

Jonathan Gill, NFEC's Chair

Jon Gill, NFEC Chair
A message from the Chair

And what about your news?

We want to hear from you - Have you got some good news to share? Did your engineering department get a grade 1 from OFSTED?

NFEC is all about helping each other and sharing good practice. Please send any news to Jill Mustard at jill@nfec.org.uk