Apprenticeships offer great opportunities: for people of all ages to get the skills they need to progress; increase the productivity of this country; and act as a powerful driver for economic growth and social mobility.
The government's ambitious agenda of skills reform has over the last year gained extraordinary momentum, including the successful launch of the Institute for Apprenticeships on 1 April this year.
What we’ve been doing
- Supporting trailblazers in the development of apprenticeship standards, proposals and assessment plans. Working with employers to design apprenticeships that meet full occupational competency.
- Our board and our 15 route panels are fully operational. They are made up of employers and industry experts who have taken on their new roles with great enthusiasm.
- Running the approval process for apprenticeship standards and assessment plans.
- Advising on the maximum amount of government funding that can be drawn down by employers for individual apprenticeship standards.
We have established a quality alliance with various government bodies and together we will monitor quality across the sector collaborating where necessary to improve it.
The quality statement sets out what we think an apprenticeship is and what good quality looks like. We have been consulting on this, and will publish a final version in the autumn.
Our achievements in the last 6 months
The Institute is currently supporting over 500 trailblazers and over 2600 employers. So far approximately 240 trailblazers have developed 190 standards that are approved for delivery.
We have successfully undertaken seven rounds of approvals, considering apprenticeship standards and assessment plans. The approval rounds are now being run with the 15 route panels in place.
We have appointed our external quality assurance (EQA) partner, Open Awards, to secure high quality end-point assessment. Open Awards will now deliver the full EQA process on behalf of the Institute until March 2018.
The Institute has recently launched its new website. The website provides employers, apprentices and stakeholders with guidance on developing apprenticeship standards and the wider work of the Institute to improve apprenticeship quality. It will provide an accessible database of not only published standards but also those in development so that there is greater transparency for all employers.
For the Institute, we recognise that this is very much the start of a journey. We share the view of the government and many in industry of the challenge ahead; the pressing need for more highly skilled people, training effectively, to grow the economy, raise productivity, and ensure prosperity and security for individuals. The Institute will focus on
Delivering high quality apprenticeships that are recognised as world-class, and advising industry on the levels of funding for training and assessment against these apprenticeship standards.
To do this we are improving the full end to end standards development process (not just our approvals process but the work led by the trailblazers) and, equally, the time it takes.
Improving our own processes to be operationally excellent’ and support the wider apprenticeship landscape.
The Institute’s new website is a significant mile stone in our development and will be the basis on which to build our digital first approach to our processes and engagement with employers.
Preparing for the expansion of the Institute’s remit to include college based technical and professional education.
We are determined to make technical and professional education an option that leads to long-term success and see through the continued delivery of lasting change in the skills system.
We have just published our position statement here. The short publication focusses on what we have achieved over our first six months and what is to come for us in the next six months.