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National Retraining Scheme For Adults: £100 Million In The Chancellor’s Budget
October 31, 2018
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The following article was written by Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE

The Chancellors’ Budget (October 2018) allocates £100 million for the first phase of the National Retraining Scheme (NRS).

This will include “a new careers guidance service with expert advice to help people identify work opportunities in their area, and state-of-the-art courses combining online learning with traditional classroom teaching to develop key transferable skills.”

I suspect this will focus on work with adults in the workplace. Lots of questions about how this might fit into the current careers landscape in England?

In 2012, the new all-age National Careers Service originally had a clear agenda to provide universal careers support services deep in local communities and businesses. The budget circa £105m was mostly for adult career guidance. Over the next three years, funding for area-based Prime Contractors working with priority groups is circa £45m.

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AELP Press Release
October 9, 2018
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Association of Employment and Learning Providers

Press release – Monday 8 October 2018

Education Committee report on Apprenticeship

Government should adopt MPs’ recommendations on the apprenticeship reforms without delay

The recommendations in the Education Committee’s report, expertly steered by Robert Halfon MP, are to be warmly welcomed and the government should waste no time in implementing all of them, according to the Association of Employment and Learning Providers which represents providers that train 3 out of every 4 apprentices in England.

It is a pity that the excellent set of observations and recommendations may be overshadowed by media headlines of ‘poor quality training’, especially when Ofsted’s chief inspector has said herself that 80% of current apprentices are receiving good or outstanding training.  That said, every apprentice should be on at least a good programme and the Committee has hit the nail on the head when it identifies as a major issue the government’s letting into the apprenticeship market a mass of untested providers and assessors with few controls and limited monitoring. Read more

ViewPoint: New Approach to Funding Apprenticeships will Provide Better Value for Money
September 17, 2018
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A new approach to funding apprenticeships will provide better value for money so that people can benefit from the training opportunities on offer and progress in their careers, says Anne Milton writing in FE Week.

I have spoken a lot about the important changes we are making to improve the quality of apprenticeships in this country.

 One of the biggest changes has been to introduce apprenticeship standards – new, high-quality apprenticeships replacing the older “frameworks”. I’m really pleased that the number of people starting these apprenticeships has increased by almost 1,000 per cent in the last year. Of those starting apprenticeships only 2.5 per cent were on standards this time last year, and now it’s over 40 per cent.

Apprenticeship standards are designed by employers themselves. By putting employers in the driving seat, we make sure that apprentices receive the training they need and make sure people have the skills businesses are crying out for, so they can get on and grow their career.

Since its creation in April 2017, the Institute for Apprenticeships has been responsible for managing the development of these new apprenticeship standards. Their work includes advising me about the right funding level for each new standard that is approved.

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The Swiss Secret to Jump-Starting Your Career in the USA
September 13, 2018
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This long article written by Dwyer Dunn and published in ‘The Atlantic’ explains how a youth-apprenticeship programme in Colorado aims to prepare students for the industries of the future by mirroring a successful model in Europe.

On a recent sunny summer morning, Ben Roueche pulled into the parking lot at the corporate headquarters of HomeAdvisor, in a suburban office park near Denver. Once inside, Roueche, wearing jeans and a T-shirt, sat down at a desk, logged on to his computer, and started resolving support tickets submitted by HomeAdvisor employees seeking help for everything from password resets to problems accessing the company’s internal phone system. At one point, Roueche paused to chat with his supervisor about establishing a setup procedure for a new video prototype that some executives will soon begin using Ben Roueche is 17; he just finished his junior year of high school.

For the past year, he has spent three days a week attending classes at a charter high school and two days a week working on the desktop-support team at HomeAdvisor. Earlier this summer, Roueche started working at HomeAdvisor three days a week, a schedule he’ll maintain throughout his senior year.

Roueche belongs to the inaugural class of apprentices in a Colorado program, started last summer, called CareerWise. It represents Colorado’s attempt to create an unusual, statewide youth-apprenticeship system.

“This program has more scale than almost any other broad apprenticeship that I know of,” Harry Holzer, a public-policy professor at Georgetown University, told me. Its goals are ambitious: CareerWise’s founders are trying to both prepare today’s youth for well-paid jobs in the industries of the future and to change a culture that insists every 18-year-old should graduate high school and go straight to college.

CareerWise is the brainchild of Noel Ginsburg, the founder of a Colorado-based advanced manufacturing company called Intertech Plastics. Ginsburg visited Switzerland, which has a widely admired youth-apprenticeship program, while serving as the chairman of the Denver Public Schools College and Career Pathways council.“What I didn’t expect is that apprenticeship isn’t just for construction—they have over 250 pathways there, everything from manufacturing to banking,” Ginsburg told me. “Seventy percent of kids there enroll in apprenticeships instead of going directly to college.

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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.

AELP Respond to ESFA Announcement on Apprenticeship Service Transition

The Education and Skills Funding Agency announced on 9 August that all employers would not be able to use the apprenticeship service to access apprenticeship funding from April 2019 as previously planned. 

To ensure a more gradual and stable transition, the Agency will instead extend current contracts for training providers delivering training for employers that do not pay the apprenticeship levy
for 12 months, from April 2019 to March 2020.

Responding to this announcement, AELP chief policy officer Simon Ashworth said:

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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

Supporting People with English Language Needs to Access Apprenticeships
July 24, 2018
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A Guide for Employers, and Providers of ESOL and Apprenticeships by the Learning & Work Institute

Drawn from interviews with employers, ESOL providers and apprenticeship providers, this guide has been designed to raise awareness of ways in which ESOL learners can benefit from and progress to
employment as an apprentice. It also illustrates how a focus on meeting ESOL learners’ needs in the workplace can benefit employers and training providers.

Access the Guide Here

No Sign of Recovery in Apprenticeship Starts
July 13, 2018
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The following article is by Julia Belgutay 

According to the latest provisional data released on 12th July 2018, there were 24,100 starts in April 2018. This down by two-thirds from the provisional figure for April 2017, which stood at more than 70,000. However, this was the month which saw a spike in new starts ahead of the introduction of the levy.

The latest figures show a continuation of the trend of a steepening in the year-on-year decline in apprenticeship starts, compared to the drop of more than half in reported March.

However, given the sharp drop in apprenticeship starts reported in May 2017, the figures for May 2018, due to be published in August, should see more stability return to the statistics.

Quarterly starts Read more

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