Season’s greetings from Training Qualifications UK. We hope that you are all in the Christmas spirit and preparing for a well-earned break with family and friends. Before we all crack open the mulled wine and break out into sudden and uninterruptible carolling we have a few key announcements in the lead up to the office closing for Christmas.
In July the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education published its highly anticipated and long sought after EQA framework. An attempt to standardise the activities of numerous EQA bodies and improve consistency in practice across the developing End-Point Assessment and Apprenticeship sector, there’s just one problem…
Functional Skills are an integral part of delivering apprenticeships in the UK. If you’re an employer employing an Apprentice or a Training Provider training an Apprentice, you will have seen them listed as requirements on the apprenticeship standards.
No matter which apprenticeship you are delivering, your Apprentice will need to provide evidence that they have achieved Functional Skills qualifications or an equivalent as part of the Gateway requirements.
In July, Training Qualifications UK was happy to learn that the Link Academy had earned not one, but two more End-Point Assessment distinctions on the Hair Apprenticeship Standard. One of those apprentices was hair-stylist-to-be Chloe Jackson.
Being an End-Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) and working with a range of different External Quality Assurance bodies (EQA) can often feel like playing on a football team where all the players are doing their own thing, writes TQUK End-Point Assessment Director Kelle McQuade.
The striker is pacing back and forth, the centre-backs are running in the other direction and the goalkeeper is taking a snooze.
The Institute for Apprenticeships has signed off another 17 apprenticeship standards after they were put through a funding review, with four standards which TQUK are approved to deliver End-Point Assessment for changing.
The news we’ve all been waiting for has landed, the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education has finally approved the new Level 3 Early Years Educator Apprenticeship Standard.
TQUK was very happy yesterday to receive a visit from our partners at Creative Support!
It was great to have Janet Glentworth, Vocational Centre Manager, and Sophie Welch, Training and Development Assessor, at Dunham House in Sale. We showed them all our new facilities and discussed all our plans for the future.
I’ve been hearing a lot about productivity in the UK recently. What’s the deal?
Productivity is what experts these days call a really big deal. High productivity is widely accepted to be one of the keys to creating a happier, healthier and wealthier country.
Unfortunately, productivity seems to be the bugbear of the UK economy.
Working in a healthcare environment can be incredibly challenging. The sheer complexity and urgency of the job demands contributions from doctors, nurses, EMTs and support staff.
One vital member of such a team is the Healthcare Assistant Practitioner. Assistant Practitioners respond to the real, immediate needs of patients while providing essential support to registered practitioners like doctors and nurses. They are the highly trained individuals in a particular area of practice that make consistent, high-quality care possible.
Got any plans for the weekend?
Yes. On Saturday I’m hosting my 50th birthday party. I had to buy a dress the other week because a friend told me that I cannot have my 50th in jeans, which is frankly what I wear most of the time. They say it’s a big deal. 50 is the new 40.
And 40 is the new 30. So, really, you’re only turning 30.
I’ll take that!
The government recently conducted a consultation engaging employers and training providers on their concerns about apprenticeship funding. The changes proposed during the consultation have resulted in a big shake-up of apprenticeship funding band rules.
Where are you from?
I’m from Preston. Quite insanely, I drive in to Sale every day.
Why would you do such a thing?
I’ll be moving to Bolton soon which is why I got a job over this way. I can miss the M61 from where I’ll be and that’s a big plus.
If you had to move somewhere else, where would it be?
If I was going to move properly, I would emigrate to Australia. I’ve been over there twice and I really like it. The weather is better and there seems to be a slightly higher standard of living. I’ve had a few friends who went there for a year and ended up staying permanently. Seems to be the thing to do!
What about within the UK?
Somewhere around the Lake District. If I moved there, I’d buy a BnB.
Is that your retirement plan?
Did you go to college or university?
I went to college and then I started university for a teaching degree. But I got halfway through the first year and decided that it wasn’t for me.
What did you think it was going to be like?
I think all the marking and planning often overshadowed the teaching side. It has to be your whole life, especially for the first three years or so. I always wanted to do it since I was little. It was one of those things where you think you want to do something and then you come up against the reality and you think, “Nope.” But I do enjoy working in that education sector. So I found a good in-between place, in that sense, at TQUK. Here, I feel I have a part in giving people a good education.
How did you end up at TQUK?
It took me ten years of retail to get here. (Laughs.) I enjoyed retail and I was good at it. I started as a sales assistant and climbed my way up to a supervisor position and worked in lots of different shops. But, after a while, the hours were killer. The straw that broke the camel’s back was last year when I was booked to work on Boxing Day. I thought, “This isn’t sustainable.” So, over the summer, I worked for AQA and then this job became available. TQUK’s a lovely place to work. Everyone’s properly motivated and people seem to care about what they do. It’s probably one of the best places I’ve worked.
You used to be in Business Support. Now, you’re on the EPA Team. How do you like it?
It’s a complete change. There’s a lot to learn when you first start. There’s so many different rules and combinations for each apprenticeship standard – it’s really exciting to be part of something so new.
Based on your experience so far, how would you say the industry is adapting?
Some places have been slower than others in embracing the reforms from last year. But we’ve certainly gone full steam ahead. The reforms are so far-reaching that, when I look back on today years from now, it’ll be something I can say l was proud to be a part of. I was there.
When you start something new, do you tend to like things better when you’re thrown into the deep end?
Yeah, I like learning things as I go. I like being a bit nosy – listening in on things and gaining as much knowledge as I can so I can be prepared for everything. Even just chats and conversations are good for that. You never know what little bit of information will help you better understand what you’re working on.
You’re working with Ash and Kelle right now. What’s that like?
Kelle is lovely to work with. She’s a fountain of knowledge. Sometimes, I’ll have a question, she’ll answer and I’ll think, “Wow, how can she know all that at the drop of a hat?” She’s usually on the road but you wouldn’t think it. It feels like she’s always at arm’s reach through the phone or Skype and that makes me feel supported. And Ash is always a pleasure.
Are you tempted to go out on the road with them?
I wouldn’t mind!
What’s one thing you’ve ticked off your bucket list recently?
Was it scary?
Not at all, but there was one moment when my instructor and I were on the way down. She went to pull the cord and said, “Oh no.” Fortunately, she was just having me on. I shouldn’t have told her I wasn’t scared!
Anything else on the bucket list?
A bungee jump.
Anything that’s not an extreme sport?
Thanks for your time!
Training Qualifications UK and Creative Support are delighted to announce that we have helped the first apprentice in the UK through the new Adult Care Worker apprenticeship standard.
Sona Peskin, from Durham, became the first apprentice to complete the new Adult Care Worker standard after completing the final assessment component, a professional discussion on Monday (30/4/18) and achieving a Merit overall.
On 17 May, the Times Educations Supplement and other further education publications reported another drop in apprenticeship starts for 2018. In February 2018, there were 21,800 apprenticeship starts – down from 36,400 starts in February 2017. These figures are provisional – more detailed data will be released by the government in November.