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ESFA Confirm, Ofsted will Have the Final Say on Poor-Performing Apprenticeship Providers
August 22, 2018
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In a move that was predicted by many in the sector, the government has decided that Ofsted will have the decisive say over poor-performing providers. 

They will now be expected to visit every new apprenticeship provider. They will receive £7 million in extra funding to make this possible.

According to the ESFA’s Removal from register of apprenticeship training providers and eligibility to receive public funding to deliver apprenticeship training’‘ updated today, any provider making ‘insufficient progress’ in at least one of the themes under review will be barred from taking on any new apprentices – either directly or through a subcontracting arrangement.

They can continue to work with existing apprentices, but must tell the employers, and any lead providers, about the monitoring visit outcome.

These restrictions will remain in place until the provider has received a full inspection and been awarded at least a grade three for its apprenticeship provision.

The ESFA can only overrule this guidance if it “identifies an exceptional extenuating circumstance”.

Grow Your Business with Apprentices – Latest Campaign
August 14, 2018
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For the latest campaign promoting Apprenticeships to employers Click Here.

It includes business case studies, details about the costs associated with training an apprentice and other resources.

Apprenticeships in the West Midlands – A Parents Guide
August 9, 2018
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The National Careers Service West Midlands have produced a video guide about apprenticeships for parents.

 

Ofqual Confirms its Apprenticeship End Point Assessment Approach
July 27, 2018
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Ofqual has put in place the final piece of the jigsaw in its approach to its External Quality Assurance (EQA) of apprenticeship End Point Assessments (EPAs), with the publication of a tailored set of rules. The following was published on Gov.uk on 26th July 2018.

These Conditions and guidance, which come into force on 27th July 2018, relate specifically to our regulation of EPAs as a component of an apprenticeship programme. Our end-to-end process is designed to ensure that EPAs are developed effectively and monitored throughout the life of the assessment.

Since taking on its role as an EQA provider, Ofqual has already agreed to provide external quality assurance for 55 standards produced by Trailblazers, with another 37 in the pipeline. We have also aligned our review of Assessment Plans with the Institute for Apprenticeships’ “Faster and Better” programme. We have published details of the status of EPAs where Ofqual has been asked to provide EQA. A total of 42 Ofqual-regulated Awarding Organisations are currently on the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) register of End Point Assessment Organisations (EPAOs).

Our work as an EQA also includes a technical evaluation of a proposed EPAs. We do this to ensure that EPAOs have interpreted assessment plans correctly and consistently so that employers get what they want and expect from the assessments. We have already looked at 19 EPAs and have asked EPAOs to make changes where required. We are also planning to communicate our technical evaluation findings more widely, to inform the Institute, the EQA community and employers. Read more

Asian Apprenticeship Awards Reveal 2018 Judges
July 6, 2018
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The organisers of the Asian Apprenticeship Awards have unveiled the 11 judges for this year’s event. All have been invited because of their significant experience in the work-based learning arena, and their passion for the life-changing impact of apprenticeships.

There are four new faces on the judging panel this year. Angela Middleton, Founder and Owner of MiddletonMurray Group. Since she founded the business in 2002, it has grown into one of the largest apprenticeship and training providers in the UK, placing over 10,000 professionals into their first jobs.

She said: “I am excited to be joining the judging team for the Asian Apprenticeship Awards in 2018. It is tremendously important that young people from all communities in the UK are aware of the range of apprenticeships that are available and the high-quality training they provide. I think the Asian Apprenticeship Awards are doing an important job to communicate that. I look forward to reading some inspiring stories and rewarding the hard work of young people and their employers and training providers.”

Read more

A Guide to Apprenticeships for the School Workforce
July 2, 2018
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In April 2017, the government changed the way it funds apprenticeships in England.

Some employers are now required to contribute to an apprenticeship levy, and there have been changes to funding for apprenticeship training for all employers.

This guide provides information specific to schools on what apprenticeships are, how your school can use them to benefit its workforce, and how the apprenticeship levy and public sector target apply to schools. There are also links to further guidance and support.

This guidance is for school leaders and governing bodies in all schools in England, and for local authorities too. It may also be of use to professional associations, unions and staff working with apprentices.

A Guide to Apprenticeships for the School Workforce

Greater Flexibility for Apprenticeship Levy as Transfers Extended
June 28, 2018
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Employers given green light to transfer up to 10% of levy funds to multiple businesses the Department for Employment reports.

Large employers will soon be able to transfer up to 10% of their apprenticeship levy funds to multiple businesses, helping to boost the number of high-quality apprenticeships across the country.

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton announced the move on 26th June at an event attended by over 160 top businesses to celebrate apprenticeships and the significant contribution they are making to their businesses and the wider economy.

The apprenticeship levy is giving employers a real opportunity to invest in high-quality training, helping to grow their business and get the skilled workforce they need to thrive and succeed. Only around 2% of employers pay the levy but that investment has funded more than 40% of the apprenticeships started in the last year.

Currently, levy-paying employers can transfer up to 10% of their apprenticeship service funds to one other employer. After listening to businesses, the Minister’s announcement today goes further and provides even greater flexibility for businesses so that from July, employers will be able to make transfers of up to 10% to as many other employers as they choose.

This move will lead to more quality apprenticeships being created and will help employers to work together in partnership, supporting them to take on apprentices who may not have done so otherwise.

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton said: Read more

Higher and Degree Apprenticeship Vacancies
June 26, 2018
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This document provides a listing of the higher and degree vacancies available with a variety of apprenticeship employers. 

Vacancy List

Struggling to Recruit Apprentices? The Importance of Social Media
June 26, 2018
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The following article is by Emma Stallwood, Digital Media and Marketing Executive, GPRS Recruitment.

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past 12 months, you’ll be aware of the struggles we are having as a country to sell apprenticeships to the emerging workforce.

Emma Stallwood, Digital Media and Marketing Executive, GPRS Recruitment

In fact, since the introduction of the government’s Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017, apprenticeship starts have been in decline. New figures from the Department for Education released on the 14th June 2018 reveal that the number of apprenticeship starts have fallen significantly, with a drop of 27.92% from last year’s figures (261,200 apprenticeship starts in 2017/18, down from 362,400 in 2016/17 academic year).

Ben Rowland, Co-Founder of the UK’s leader in digital, IT and HR apprenticeships says that “We firmly believe employers need to look beyond the apprenticeship levy and embrace apprenticeships as an integral part of developing the UK talent pool, keeping us a competitive nation.”

Now more than ever, the promotion of apprenticeships and making your programme a ‘sought-after’ scheme is imperative.

Over 1,400 people applied for eight spaces on the BBC apprenticeship programme – making it more competitive per place than many Oxbridge colleges. This approach shows that, with a dose of innovation, there is a way to reverse the fall in apprenticeship numbers.

Try our Top Tips for Engaging with the Apprentice Demographic

Today’s job marketplace is predominantly online, therefore maintaining an online presence is of the utmost importance, not only for company exposure but because it can be used to create or strengthen your employer brand and to attract talent to your organisation.

Read more

Apprenticeship Funding Rules 2018 to 2019
June 21, 2018
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This document sets out the guidance for all employers participating in the new apprenticeship programme from 1 August 2018.

It also sets out the funding rules for levy-paying employers who are participating in the apprenticeship programme through an account on the apprenticeship service.

Funding Rules

 

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