This Week's News 02.02.18

Partner salon network meeting - Monday 12th February 2018

School of Management Building (Rik Medlik Building), University of Surrey, Stag Hill Campus, Guildford GU2 7XH. The agenda is available here.

Please email ten/dtl.sti//ofni to confirm attendance - thank you.

Did you actually read your partner salon agreement? (just asking)

Last summer, all employers were asked to sign a new partner salon agreement which was updated to reflect the changes to apprenticeships and funding introduced in May 2017. The partner salon agreement sets out the responsibilities of ITS and the employer's responsibilities as a recipient of government-funded training. We ask that you look again at the agreement and in particular, draw your attention to the following:

  • Employ your prospective apprentice on full-time hours (minimum of 30 hours per week) for a minimum of 3 months prior to the apprentice being signed upfor their apprenticeship with ITS.
  • It is a requirement for government funding that all apprentices must receive a minimum of 20% of their working hours on training. Training must take place within their working hours but excludes time spent on English and maths. For example, 8 hours per week is to be dedicated to training for apprentices working 40 hours per week.
  • Assign at least one senior member of staff to provide mentoring support to each apprentice/ learner.
  • Provide the necessary support and resources to enable apprentices/learners to submit an entry into the annual ITS Photographic Competition.

Lastly, please read This Week's News - we publish this every Friday afternoon to keep you up to date with changes to apprenticeships, to share good practice and much more. Also, our Facebook page is where you and your apprentices can share their successes and showcase their work. It would be great to see more work posted here! We also use Instagram - both social network sites can be entered by simply clicking on the icons on our website's home page.

New EPA support for your apprentices

We all want effective ways for apprentices to prepare for end-point assessment (EPA). That's why City & Guilds are rolling out a new EPA preparation tool from the end of January. As soon as we register an apprentice for the EPA, we give them access to this easy-to-use, web-based tool. They just need to sign in to access this whenever they want, from any device. User-friendly technology takes the apprentice through a short set of questions, to create personalised material based on their apprenticeship standard and their confidence levels. They can work through this to help them feel ready for their EPA experience. The content, which includes videos, articles and blogs, is curated from across the web and covers areas like revision and exam skills, multiple choice test strategies, and professional discussion and interview skills. Don't forget you can read more about our EPA process and support on our EPA page. We'll soon put a short video (the voiceover is by an apprentice too) on the page to let you get a feel for the tool so do check back here City & Guilds EPA service.

Become an independent end point assessor for City & Guilds

City & Guilds want to hear from you if you:

  • Hold an assessor qualification
  • Have no connections with the assessment centre and/or apprentice (to maintain objectivity)
  • Have current technical or occupational understanding in areas being assessed
  • Are fully conversant with the standards and criteria being assessed
  • Occupationally competent, hold a relevant occupational qualification above the level being assessed and have relevant occupational experience within the last two years
  • Have experience in interviewing techniques
  • Can work independently
  • Have good time management skills

Independent end-point assessors are responsible for maintaining their own continuing professional development (CPD) to ensure competency is up-to-date, and in line with qualification requirements. Click here for the person specification for an independent end point assessor

  • CVs can be accepted with your application to highlight necessary requirements.
  • Your application must demonstrate your occupational expertise for each apprenticeship you are applying to assess.
  • Your application will be delayed and may be rejected if the correct occupational qualifications and/or experience are not listed.
  • Referees will be contacted via email as part of our shortlisting process.

To apply, complete all sections of:

  1. Application form
  2. CPD record
  3. Equal opportunities form
  4. Equal opportunities information

Skills Commission: Young apprentices need travel subsidies now

The government is harming young and disadvantaged people with its failure to ease their travel costs, according to a major new inquiry into the impact of the apprenticeship reforms. The Skills Commission has "heard growing concerns" that "opportunities for disadvantaged young people are being displaced", its new report warned. Made up of an influential group of education leaders, business and MPs, the commission has made a series of recommendations to redress the balance. They want the government to "urgently" introduce subsidised travel for apprentices, bringing "discounts in line with those in full-time education" and "The commission welcomes the current government's commitment to discounted travel costs for apprentices. However, as yet there is no indication of how or when this pledge will be implemented," the report reads. It goes on to say: "Not only can transport costs be a barrier to accessing an apprenticeship in the first place, but they can also limit the variety of opportunities a young person can access. This is particularly the case in rural areas where transport options are more limited." Although it describes apprenticeships as having the potential to be "a major engine of social mobility in the UK", the report warned that factors such as the low apprentice wage, the government's cuts to household benefits, and the lack of "parity of esteem" between apprenticeships and traditional university degrees were putting off potential applicants.

Further fall in apprenticeship starts weakens social mobility agenda

The latest quarterly statistics for apprenticeships, published last Thursday, showed that total starts were 26.5% lower for the first quarter of 2017-18 than for the same period a year ago. In respect of the quarterly figures, the year-on-year comparisons show a 20% fall in starts for 16 to 18-year olds and a massive 38% drop in level 2 starts. Other data also suggests that nearly half the new starts are now taking place with levy payers whereas before the levy, the large employers only accounted for approximately a third. Furthermore, the government is falling behind the curve on the achievement of 3 million starts by 2020.

Further fall in apprenticeship starts weakens social mobility agenda

Anti-extremism tsar hired to promote British values

Sara Khan will be head of the Commission for Countering Extremism. She will move from her role as chairwoman of Inspire, an organisation she co-founded herself 10 years ago to tackle extremism and gender equality. The three-day-a-week job as lead commissioner, which is likely to be based in central London, will be tasked with identifying extremism and advising ministers on policies and laws needed to tackle it. It will also help to train schools and colleges to spot the warning signs of extremism and will have a special responsibility to ensure women's rights are upheld. Ms Khan said: "To those in this country who recognise the harm and threat that extremism continues to pose, I extend my hand out to you to work with me in supporting the commission to build a Britain that defends our diverse country while demonstrating zero tolerance to those who promote hate and seek to divide us."

Young people's wellbeing - the youth index

Young people's wellbeing

The Prince's Trust has published its annual Youth Index, looking at the views and outlooks of young people aged 16 to 25 in the UK. Findings from a survey of 2,194 young people include: the overall level of happiness and confidence young people feel in their lives is at the lowest since 2009; worries about body image affect more young women (60%) than young men (36%).

Team ITS warmly welcomes this learner who started her Apprenticeship this week

Jessie Prior - Level 2 Hair Professional Apprenticeship - Salon Sixteen, Petersfield

Congratulations to the following learner who completed her Apprenticeship this week

Holly Brookes - Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship - Dare, Dorking

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