ITS a hair thing - February 2021

Welcome to the February issue of ITS a hair thing!

We were delighted to have received such high participation levels for the January Zoom sessions and apprentice challenges: Bridgerton, Frieda Kahlo and Self Made! We will continue to offer these additional activities to keep apprentices engaged and motivated throughout the national lockdown. Here's just a few examples of the amazing work created by our apprentices:

Be sure to follow ITS on Instagram and Facebook to see them all!

Latest news on apprenticeships

The continued lack of flexibility forthcoming from IfATE (Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education) for the hairdressing EPA is unacceptable. Last week, we sent a letter to the key movers and shakers to express our dissatisfaction. Here's what we had to say:

We cannot be the only providers feeling utterly let down by the inflexibilities concerning EPAs and seek the support of the AELP Hair and Beauty Sector Forum to resolve this unfair and unacceptable situation.

To date, we have 19 apprentices at Gateway who are unable to take their EPA. How is holding them in limbo fair or justified? We have continued delivery during each lockdown and put significant effort into devising innovative strategies to keep apprentices engaged.

There is no reasoning in preventing these learners from achieving their apprenticeships. They do not need the EPA to obtain a licence to practice their craft nor is it the only means to prove they have the required competence. So, who is claiming that the EPA is the only way that competence can be proven?

Our hairdressing apprentices have been assessed throughout their apprenticeship by qualified assessors whose activities are subject to robust internal quality assurance processes. The Awarding Organisation (AO) conducts external quality assurance to ensure our assessments are carried out consistently and in a safe and fair manner. We have direct claims status with the AO and are graded good by Ofsted. However, it seems that all this is utterly meaningless. We are unable to progress our apprentices through to achievement because it seems we and their employers are not fit to make a final judgement about whether they have the required knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to undertake the occupational standard's duties!

Our QAR has fallen through the floor and we are carrying around 30 out of funding apprentices. Furthermore, recruitment is down because employers are waiting to promote apprentices who are in EPA-limbo to more senior positions before taking on new recruits.

The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education has introduced alternative arrangements for the EPAs of over 100 apprenticeship standards where additional discretions have been introduced. Why isn't hairdressing included?

...watch this space!

Guide to remote learning during Covid-19 lockdown / periods of self isolation

We have created a guide to answer questions you may have about remote learning whilst we are in lockdown, or where an apprentice must self-isolate. The guide is available on our website here.

What remote education will be made available to apprentices?

Your Trainer/Assessor will contact you to book remote sessions in place of face-to-face salon visits.

During these sessions, your Trainer/Assessor will discuss your health and wellbeing and deliver a blend of theory and/or practical training. Off the job training will also be reviewed, together with agreeing and setting of targets for the month. The minimum duration of remote sessions is one hour per month.

In addition to the above, a wide variety of virtual teaching and learning activities will be made available to all apprentices to sustain levels of motivation and progress. These include: weekly WhatsApp messages from your Trainer/Assessor; access to pre-recorded training sessions; access to the ITS YouTube channel; Instagram 'live' sessions and group Zoom tutorials.

How will I know what to do, and when?

  • Your Trainer/Assessor will contact you via text or WhatsApp, confirming your scheduled session date and time
  • Your Trainer/Assessor will confirm which tools and equipment you will need for your session, or agree alternatives where these are not available to you
  • Agreed targets and activities for the month will be recorded on your visit log and sent to you via email by your Trainer/Assessor
  • Opportunities to engage with the monthly apprentice challenge and the sharing of motivational quotes to support mental-wellbeing will be communicated to you by text/WhatsApp and promoted on the ITS Facebook and Instagram pages

You are expected to:

  • Be punctual for remote sessions and activities
  • Ensure you have the required tools, equipment and training logs available to use as part of the session
  • Make contact with your Trainer/Assessor if a change to a scheduled session is required
  • Be dressed appropriately (e.g. no pyjamas)
  • Use appropriate, respectful language
  • Complete and keep a record of your OJT hours
  • Make contact with your Trainer/Assessor where further support is required

What if I do not have access to an online device?

By having a variety of activities, some being online and some not, you will be provided with tasks that meet your learning and accessibility needs. Please let your Trainer/Assessor know if you have any difficulties.

Arrangements for Learning Support sessions

Your Learning Support Tutor will contact you to book remote sessions to replace face-to-face visits. Apprentices without access to the internet or an online device will receive support via telephone (mobile or landline). CGP maths and English workbooks can be provided for apprentices who request these.

Additional Support

Your Trainer/Assessor and/or Learning Support Tutor can be contacted via phone, text/WhatsApp or email during office hours to provide you with additional support or answer any queries you may have.

Choose hair!

As part of National Apprenticeship Week 2021 we want to encourage more young people to choose hairdressing apprenticeships. So, why did you choose hair? You can help us by sharing a short 30 second video or written blog about life as a salon owner, stylist or assessor. Together, we can create an amazing bank of pathways to inspire our future professionals and help boost recruitment!

Please send your 'Choose Hair' video clip or blog to your Trainer/Assessor or ten/dtl-sti//ofni.

Virtual apprenticeship fair 9th February 2021

The DfE are hosting a virtual apprenticeships fair on Tuesday 9th February. We would be very happy to support you with promoting any vacancies that you may have. Please contact the office by email: ten/dtl-sti//ofni or phone: 02392 591 666 to find out more.

Free positive mindset workshop with celebrity coach for NAW2021 (National Apprenticeship Week 8-14 February)

To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2021, AELP are inviting all amazing current and past apprentices to join a free mindfulness and positivity workshop with celebrity coach, George Anderson.

The workshop will be held on Monday 8th Feb, 12:30 - 13:30.

If you know an apprentice, any age, any level, any location - please let them know that they can register here.

We love to celebrate the achievements of learners and partner salons. Please let us know if you have something to share!

Congratulations! to the following apprentices who achieved their On Programme Tasks in January:

Poppy Hebberd
Leeya Hamlin

Congratulations! to the following apprentices who completed hairdressing units in January:

Amy Morris
Maisie Yeo

Welcome! to the following apprentices who joined programme in January:

Maddison Ellis
Katy Bevan

Congratulations! to the following apprentices who are on track to achieve timely:

Poppy Hebberd
Jessica Gadbury
Laura Wentworth
Emma Freeman

It's great to see so many examples of work created by our apprentices for the January apprentice challenge! Here's the full list of entries:

Number 1

Number 2

Number 3

Number 4

Number 5

Number 6

Number 7

Number 8

Number 9

Number 10

Number 11

Number 12

Number 13

Number 14

Number 15

Number 16

Number 17

Number 18

WOW! An incredible range of talent and once again, an extremely hard task to select January's winner. Team ITS extends huge congratulations to Katie S from Inspirations who has been voted January's Apprentice of the Month!

Katie S from Inspirations

Have a great month!

Kind regards
Lauren Pullen
Head of Provision
Inter Training Services Ltd
Mobile: 07875 303317
Web: www.its-ltd.net

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