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Millions are Unhappy at Work, but Some Apprentice Employers are Bucking the Trend
June 14, 2019
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By Emma Finamore. Editor, AllAboutSchoolLeavers.co.uk

A staggering 4.3 million UK employees report being unhappy at work – 13% of us nationwide – and over 15,000,000 days are lost per year due to reported mental health problems caused or worsened by work.

The findings come from research conducted by Robert Half UK published this year, and shows how our workforce is becoming increasingly held back by mental health problems such as stress, depression and anxiety.

According to this research, the UK has the highest rate of unhappiness in the workplace among the countries surveyed, including Canada, Australia, Germany and 4% higher than in the US. The research found that one in three (31%) UK respondents admit to finding their work stressful, while one in 10 (12%) employees say they are dissatisfied with their work–life balance. Read more

Crackdown on Schools Failing to Promote Vocational Qualifications
May 22, 2019
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Schools must stop blocking employers and colleges from speaking to their students about alternative non-academic options‘I want schools to talk about the whole range of things they might do after 16 or after 18 including apprenticeships and college,’ education secretary says to A-levels and university, the education secretary has said.

Damian Hinds has warned the government will take action against schools that are still refusing to open their doors to organisations that want to promote apprenticeships and vocational courses.

Speaking to The Independent, Mr Hinds said: “I want schools to be talking about the whole range of things that they might do after 16 or after 18 including apprenticeships and college options

“I think it is important that children have that knowledge. It is not for everybody to be pursuing a university route, and there are plenty of other really high-quality options and routes available.” Read more

Top Tips for Employers on Getting the Best Out of Apprentices
April 17, 2019
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ARTICLE BY: Stephen Isherwood | 
APPRENTICES NEED TO WORK A LOT HARDER ON DEVELOPING THEIR PROFESSIONALISM AT WORK COMPARED TO GRADUATES, BUT THERE ARE LITTLE DIFFERENCES IN KEY SKILLS SUCH AS RESILIENCE, LEADERSHIP AND DEALING WITH CONFLICT. CONTRIBUTOR STEPHEN ISHERWOOD, CHIEF EXECUTIVE – ISE.

Employers are also twice as likely to report that apprentices lack presentation, analysis, IT, writing, problem solving and interpersonal skills. However, there are few differences between graduates and apprentices in relation to resilience, managing up, leadership, dealing with conflict, self-awareness, career management and emotional intelligence.

Institute of Student Employers (ISE) asked its members about the 76,000 entry-level staff they have hired over the last three years, including graduates, apprentices and school leavers. The Survey revealed that employers are almost four times as likely to raise concerns about how apprentices dress for work in comparison to graduates.

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Only 5% of UK Train Drivers are Women
April 17, 2019
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Govia Thameslink Railway, which runs Southern, Thameslink, Great Northern and Gatwick Express, has launched the UK’s biggest rail recruitment campaign to attract more women and young people to consider a rewarding career in rail.Image result for Govia Thameslink Railway

In the UK, just five percent of Britain’s 19,000 train drivers are women, but GTR is committed to changing this and has already taken steps to address the imbalance. Last year, 30 percent of Southern’s trainee driver roles were taken up by women, up from 18 percent in 2017. In addition, a class of new trainee drivers on both Great Northern and Southern had a 50:50 gender split in 2018. 

GTR now has over 2,000 qualified drivers across the Southern, Great Northern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express network, the first train operating company (TOC) ever to reach this milestone. 

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UCAS: Apprentices’ Rights and Responsibilities
April 9, 2019
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The following is an extract from the UCAS Website

 

Apprentices have the same rights as other employees.

You are entitled to a contract of employment, and a minimum of 20 days paid leave each year, plus bank holidays. You will work at least 30 hours per week with your employer, and undertake part-time study through a mixture of day/block release, distance, and e-learning.

Your employer and university, college, or training provider will set out details of what they will provide and what they expect from you as an apprentice, both as an employee and as a student, in two key documents.

Read more

Free Webinar: Getting to Grips with End-Point Assessment Methods 11th April 2019
April 4, 2019
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The following webinar is being provided by SDN and Protocol 

End-point assessment is different and high-stakes.

Whether you’re preparing apprentices for it or planning to deliver end-point assessment in future, you will need to get to grips with multiple assessment methods specified in the new assessment plans and what they mean in practice.

On Thursday, 11th April (12.30-1.30pm) SDN and Protocol are hosting a free webinar, to give you a birds-eye-view of: Read more

ESFA UPDATE: Apprenticeships Off-the-Job Training Hours

The ESFA published updates on the Apprenticeship Off-the-Job Training hours on 3rd April 2019.

How employers and training providers should meet the 20% off-the-job training requirement for apprentices, with some best practice examples.

Documents

 

House of Commons Short of Public Sector Apprenticeships Target

Former skills minister Robert Halfon called on the House to ‘set an example to our nation’ by hiring more apprenticesImage result for house of commons

The House of Commons has not yet hit the public-sector apprenticeship target, it has been revealed.

Public-sector bodies have a legal duty, established in the 2016 Enterprise Act, to “have regard” to the target of having at least 2.3 per cent of their workforce comprised of apprentices. Official guidance specifies that “public sector bodies with 250 or more staff in England have a target to employ an average of at least 2.3 per cent of their staff as new apprentice starts over the period of 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2021”.

According to the Department for Education, the target has been calculated to ensure that the public sector delivers its “fair share” of the 3 million apprenticeship starts the government has committed to by 2020.

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The Role of the Trainer Assessor for Apprenticeships
March 28, 2019
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If you currently deliver apprenticeship training as a trainer/assessor, your role is likely to be going through considerable change – writes Chris Cherry, Senior Associate, Strategic Development Network (SDN)

In the new world of apprenticeship standards, trainer / assessors need to:

  • Design and conduct the training differently
  • Integrate new assessment methods
  • integrate the concept of grading within the training, and
  • Prepare apprentices to meet the gateway and undertake end-point assessment.

This change is a huge amount to process for trainer / assessors.

So, to help, we’ve set out 15 quick questions to ask yourself to test whether you’re ‘standards ready’

15 quick check questions before embarking on the new trainer / assessor role Read more

Amanda Spielman Speech at the 2019 Annual Apprenticeships Conference
March 28, 2019
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The Chief Inspector discussed the apprenticeship landscape, current challenges that providers face and Ofsted’s approach.Amanda Spielman

The following speech was delivered on 27 March 2019 (Transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered)

Introduction

To say that the last few years have marked monumental changes for the apprenticeship market is no exaggeration. We have seen the introduction of the levy, standards, the off-the-job training quota, and of course degree apprenticeships – to name just a few.

This is a heady mix, and understandably, the sector’s had to work hard to adjust.

Since I spoke to you last year, apprenticeships remain in the headlines, and not always for the right reasons. The continuing fall in starts, highlighted again by the National Audit Office (NAO) earlier this month, is still a major cause for concern.

I am well aware that apprenticeship providers have a lot to contend with. The wider context that means that many of you are struggling to make apprenticeships available.

Read more