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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.

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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.

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ESFA: Cap to Apprenticeship Off-the-Job Calculation
March 28, 2019
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The Education and Skills Funding Agency has insisted that an apparent change it made to the off-the-job training policy last week has always existed and does not contradict the funding rules FE WEEK reports.

As reported by FE Week, providers were left baffled after the agency updated its ‘apprenticeship off the-job training policy background and examples’ document which for the first time stated the 20 per cent calculation should be capped based on 30 hours of work per week.

Official funding rules for 2018/19 make no reference to a 30-hour cap in the calculation and providers have been including all “paid hours”.

FE Week sought clarification from the ESFA, which today provided this statement: Read more

ViewPoint: How Should Providers Interpret the ‘new’ ESFA Guidance on Prior Learning?
March 20, 2019
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It is an add-on rather than an update – and could be an attempt to claw back funding or scare providers into discount pricing, says Simon Ashworth, Chief policy officer, Association of Employment and Learning Providers

Earlier this week the ESFA published guidance on the recognition of prior learning. It’s important to note this is additional guidance, rather than specifically new or updated funding rules. With apprenticeship funding now finally acknowledged as running in short supply, there may be more emphasis on how providers account for prior learning in order to claw back funding or scare providers into discount pricing.

Ten years ago the sector experienced a crackdown on providers claiming additional learning support. A few providers were made an example of and others quickly scaled back their financial claims but continued to offer the additional support while not getting paid for it. Let’s hope we don’t see a repeat of the latter.

The previous iterations of the funding rules were much more specific about tackling “embedded qualifications” with fixed rates of funding reductions that governed the apprenticeship frameworks, which were all built around qualifications. Read more

ViewPoint: Top Tips for Recruiting the Best Apprentices
March 14, 2019
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With the end of the academic year approaching, recruitment for apprenticeships is likely to be the focus of many L&D managers. FrancesFrances Nicholson NicholsonHead Of Operations at National Skills Academy for Health,  shares her views on “how to get the cream of the crop”.

Be modern, social and mobile friendly
The young people of today have grown up in the digital age and are incredibly tech savvy so you need to engage with them through online platforms. You can reach out to the post-millennial generation through social media rather than simply relying on the Find an Apprenticeship website.

Use your recruitment strategy to try to engage people who might not have even considered apprenticeships yet. Link your social media posts to your careers site so prospective candidates can find out more about the culture of your organisation. Read more