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Ofsted given final say over new apprenticeship provider quality

Ofsted has officially been given the final say over poor-performing apprenticeship providers following an early monitoring visit, the Education and Skills Funding Agency has confirmed today.

FE Week reported back in May that the move was on the cards, following embarrassment for the government over apprenticeship accountability.

Parents favour degree apprenticeships over university, CMI study reveals

Degree apprenticeships attract a surge in support from parents

A-Level students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland collect their exam results, and prepare for the next steps in their professional careers. But these steps might look different from before. A new CMI survey shows that support from parents for degree apprenticeships is increasing rapidly, with many advising their children to choose the cost-effective alternative to university.

Traditionally, academically driven teenagers have opted to start university degrees, while those keen to make an early start in the workplace have chosen jobs in their local area.

Degree apprenticeships combine the two approaches, by allowing students to get work experience in thriving companies while engaging in degree-level classroom teaching. The programmes see them awarded a qualification after three years.

New standards take apprenticeships up a notch

The widely reported skills crisis and lack of fresh recruits in construction is not new news to us, and most recently the Chartered Institute of Building stated that the industry will need to find 157,000 new recruits by 2021 to keep up with demand.

Developers offer young apprentices a chance to learn

Rather than go to university and build up debts teetering on the terrifying, school-leavers collecting A-level results next week can earn while they learn on their way to carving out a rewarding career with a great future in the housebuilding industry.

Changing perceptions: Apprenticeships are no longer for poor, underachieving young people

Apprenticeships have undergone an incredible change in recent years as their focus has shifted from being primarily blue‐collar professions, such as construction or engineering, to business and head office functions. Once thought of as an alternative to University for students who “couldn’t get the grades”, apprenticeships are becoming a viable career option for our brightest young people – as well as those already in work.

'Making the apprenticeship levy work really matters'

Despite good intentions, the apprenticeship levy hasn’t had the easiest of beginnings. Apprenticeship starts were 39 per cent down in April compared with the same period in 2016 – the clearest sign yet that we’re some way from having a system that works, that encourages companies to invest more in skills and training, and ultimately delivers a chance for people to embark on their career or retrain.

Anger as Carillion lays off 340 apprentices

Unite says latest job losses are ‘act of crass stupidity’ amid construction skills shortage. The apprentice redundancies made up the bulk of the latest round of 356 job losses at Carillion.

New CEO & Principal Announced for UK’s Only Specialist FE Construction College

The UK’s only specialist Further Education construction college will have a new CEO & Principal, following the retirement of the incumbent, Ian Billyard. It was announced today that the successor at Leeds College of Building will be Derek Whitehead, currently Deputy Principal at the College. Derek will take up the position in January 2019. 

The value of apprenticeships in the construction industry

Concern has been raised by construction industry experts about a shortage of skilled workers. It was revealed by City & Guilds that 87% of employers last year were struggling to get hold of the necessary number of skilled workers. Official figures, revealed in Construction News, shows that 12.6% of the UK’s construction workers aren’t British-born, with 5.7% originating from the EU. This rises considerably in London to 60%. Rather concerning is the fact that three in 10 British-born construction workers are older than 50 years old and edging towards retirement.

Greater flexibility for apprenticeship levy as transfers extended

Employers given green light to transfer up to 10% of levy funds to multiple businesses

Anne Milton launches £22m construction skills fund

The skills minister has launched a new £22 million fund to help tackle construction skills shortages.

The 18-month scheme will be overseen by the Construction Industry Training Board and funded by the Department for Education.

Where next for apprenticeships? The Debate Continues #ApprenticeshipFutures

A ago week today, Learning and Work Institute launched All change: where next for apprenticeships?, a new essay collection with leading experts setting out ways to improve the quality of apprenticeships and ensure fair access to training.

Contributors were asked to reflect on the first year of the Levy and the impact of major changes to the development and funding of apprenticeships, and to give us their proposals for how to improve the quality of apprenticeships and ensure fair access to training.

Applications now open for 2018 Young Builder of the Year Award

The Awards celebrate the achievements of young people who have had to overcome barriers in their personal lives to train for and/or become employed in the construction industry.

Robert Halfon questions key principle behind new T-levels

The former skills minister has appeared to question the whole design principle behind the government’s plan for prestigious new T-levels.

Apprenticeships - Compete, Collaborate - an unnecessary divide?

Dr John Lanham is Assistant Vice Chancellor and Director Strategic Regional Partnerships at UWE and a Board Member of the University Vocational Awards Council (UVAC)

The University of the West of England (UWE) has an extensive portfolio of “collaborative provision” through which we work with a range of partners to deliver our degrees at locations away from the university.

'Apprenticeship levy should be seen as a positive, progressive step'

Not only has the levy offered an excellent chance for companies to invest in their employees, it has also allowed a number of people to enter the workforce who may not have been able to otherwise, writes Barclays' Mike Thompson

CITB finds almost three quarters of Carillion apprentices new employers

Almost three quarters of the apprentices left jobless following the collapse of Carillion have secured new employment, following an “extraordinary effort” by the construction industry over the last month.

At first, 700 were offered alternative apprenticeships by the end of January, after the outsourcing giant entered liquidation on the 15th. But attempts to move more than 400 others stalled throughout February and early March, after it proved difficult to match them with companies close enough to where they live.

Institute for Apprenticeships boss hits out at FE 'vested interests'

Sir Gerry says concerns over end-point assessments are being overplayed by “vested interests” in the sector who are against the reforms

Writing exclusively for Tes, the chief executive of the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) Sir Gerry Berragan says that end-point assessment (EPA) represents a big change that can be “unsettling” for providers.

£600 million a year could be wasted on poor-quality apprenticeships, warns Reform

Many low-skill and management training courses have been incorrectly labelled as ‘apprenticeships’ to attract millions in government subsidies through the apprenticeship levy, according to a new report from the public services think-tank Reform.

Former ESFA boss Peter Lauener to chair CITB

Peter Lauener is taking on yet another job next month, this time as chair of the Construction Industry Training Board at the request of the skills minister.

The former boss of both the ESFA and the Institute for Apprenticeships, once dubbed the busiest man in FE, will take up the role at the organisation on May 1.

Construction training system is broken, says Unite

Union giant Unite has called for a comprehensive overhaul of construction training methods, having unearthed a significant increase in so-called ‘dead end courses’.

Unite lodged a freedom of information request with the Skills Funding Agency which revealed that 203,400 people had completed a full or part-time construction course in 2016/17 – up 5% on 2015/16, during which 192,500 such courses were undertaken (itself a 14% increase on the year previous).

Could an apprenticeship really be the gateway to a successful career?

A demanding job in a high-pressure environment, dealing with matters of life and death daily, you might think that I’m the product of a Russell Group university education with a list of Bachelors and Masters degrees to my name. But you’d be wrong.

Apprenticeships should start at 16 and last three years, says new report

British businesses would benefit from a Swiss-style apprenticeship system, according to experts

Employers would benefit from school leavers starting apprenticeships lasting for several years, according to a new study released today by the Education Policy Institute (EPI), German think tank Bertelsmann Stiftung and the JP Morgan Chase Foundation.

Unions slam “dead end” construction training courses

Union leaders are calling for a radical overhaul of construction training after claiming thousands more youngsters are stuck on ‘dead end’ courses.

A freedom of information request by Unite to the Government’s Skills Funding Agency revealed that 203,400 people undertook a full-time or part-time construction course in 2016/17 – a five per cent increase on 2015/16.

Diversity is key amid current transformation in the construction sector

Allan Callaghan, managing director of Cruden Building, looks at the range of career opportunities available as the sector faces growing recruitment challenges

As industries continue to change and evolve, construction is going through its own transformation - shifting from a male-dominated, traditional profession to a much more innovative, diverse and collaborative industry with wider career horizons than ever before.

National Apprenticeship Week is important, but we need to keep the conversation going all year round

Anyone working in education and careers will know that we just celebrated National Apprenticeship Week 2018, five days of information and inspiration hoping to encourage a new generation of young people to learn more about the great opportunities out there. But just like puppies and Christmas – talking about apprenticeships should happen all year round, not just during National Apprenticeship Week: we must keep this vital conversation going.

Apprenticeship and levy statistics March 2018: Monthly apprenticeship starts down over 22%

DfE have today (29 Mar) published the latest statistics covering apprenticeship starts, apprenticeship service registrations and commitments. The figures released show a drop in Apprenticeship numbers.

Monthly Apprenticeship starts In December 2017 down from 16,700 apprenticeship starts, compared to 21,600 starts in 2016/17. Or 194,100 Apprenticeship starts for two quarters of 2017/2018 academic year compared to 258,800 Apprenticeship starts for the same period in 2016/17. Either way you 'cut up' the Apprenticeship start statistics are down between 22% - 25%. 

So what does the sector think about the Apprenticeship figures?

How apprenticeships work

There has never been a better time to employ an apprentice or start an apprenticeship

Apprenticeships are a great opportunity for people to earn while they learn, gain vital work experience and set themselves on a fast-track to a successful career for life. Lasting between one and five years, apprenticeships are now available in over hundreds of occupations in many industries.

Apprenticeships are for people of all ages and all backgrounds. They offer a ladder of opportunity for people to gain the life changing skills they need and enable businesses to acquire the critical skills they need for business growth. Since 2015, we’ve seen over 1.2 million apprenticeship starts to date more opportunities for people of all ages and from all backgrounds