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New portal launched to support providers implement the apprenticeship reforms

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

The new Future Apprenticeships portal launched today is the ‘go to place’ to support the professional development of the provider workforce.  It will support leaders, managers and practitioners make the transition from apprenticeship frameworks to the new standards, engage with employers and grow their apprenticeship offer.  The site is usable from a range of devices and enables providers to engage easily and navigate to the content that is most relevant to them.

The new portal promotes the activities from the Futures Apprenticeships programme with dedicated areas for leaders, managers and governors and teachers/trainers. It also contains links to wider information on the apprenticeship reforms, details about CPD opportunities and a range of resources.

The resources section includes a practical toolkit that is also being launched today.The Future Apprenticeship provider toolkit  has been written and designed by the Strategic Development Network (SDN) and builds on work with hundreds of colleagues, from all types of providers who have engaged with the Future Apprenticeship programme. It shares transition models and effective practice from providers who have been quick to adopt the new standards. It highlights actions that leaders, managers and practitioners will need to consider, and equips them with tools to starting putting these actions into practice.

The toolkit is split into two broad sections:

  1. Strategy and Planning: setting strategic priorities and objectives; understanding the opportunities, customer needs and financial viability; mapping out the organisational structures and partnership arrangements required; and agreeing the plans, timescales and teams to drive the transition forward.
  1. Implementation: putting the operational building blocks in place for future apprenticeship delivery, from curriculum development, assessment and quality, to business development, marketing and compliance.

The first edition of the tool kit will help providers set their apprenticeship agenda and journey for the next two years. As more detail emerges and as a greater number of providers work through the process, we will update the toolkit with  more examples of practice.

The portal and the toolkit have been developed as part of the Future Apprenticeships programme which the Education and Training Foundation commissioned the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP)to run along with their programme partners. The programme started at the end of 2015 and has already supported 1,700 individuals and 225 providers. It will run until March 2017 and includes a wide range of support activities including webinars, workshops, focus groups and in-house support.

Jenny Williams, Director of Vocational Education and Training at the Foundation said:

“We are committed to supporting the sector to deliver high quality apprenticeships.  Professional development of the vocational education and training workforce holds the key to raising quality, and improving outcomes for both apprentices and employers. 

The Future Apprenticeships programme is all about supporting staff to plan for and deliver the new apprenticeship standards, and helping colleges and providers develop strategic employer engagement strategies to respond to the new employer-led context.

We hope the new portal and toolkit will be significant aides to providers preparing for the transition to the new world of apprenticeships.  It is based on the latest practice, advice and tools from those already making the transition to the new apprenticeship standards, and we are grateful for their willingness to share their experiences.”

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