This Week's News 13.01.17

We hope you celebrated the start of 2017 in good spirits with family and friends. Now that we're a couple of weeks into the new year, it's good to look ahead and think about what this year may bring. We will not lose sight of our priority to be a good training provider that puts the customer at the heart of everything we do. We shall continue to support all partner salons by providing advice when needed, flexibility where possible, and clear information to enable us to continue to operate as true partnerships. The year ahead will bring its own challenges with the launch of the new apprenticeship standard that replaces the old framework. By working together, keeping focused on our priorities and putting learners first, we can make it a smooth and painless transition!

New Hair Professional apprenticeship standard will be available in 2017!

See the new hairdressing standard by clicking here. This is an agenda item for the Partner Salon Network meeting taking place on Tuesday 17th January at the University of Surrey, Guildford. If you haven't already done so, please let us know whether you shall be attending as we are expecting high numbers thank you.

DfE shelve plan to enforce equal careers advice

Plans to force schools to give equal weight to vocational and academic routes when providing careers advice have been put on ice. Last January, then education secretary Nicky Morgan announced proposals for legislation designed to end the "second-class perception of technical and professional education". At the time, the DfE said this would result in schools being legally required to collaborate with colleges and training providers to ensure that young people were aware of all available options a move welcomed by many training providers and employers. Although the government said it would "bring in the legislation at the earliest opportunity", no further announcements have been made since the ministerial reshuffle last July. A DfE spokesman said that the department was still "exploring options" on how to ensure young people were made "aware of all the routes to higher skills and into the workplace", but refused to confirm whether new legislation would still be introduced.

Calling all In-salon Assessors!

Did you know that all the necessary handbooks and documents you need as an In-salon Assessor are available to you at the click of a mouse?

Just log into 'Existing Partner Salons' on the ITS website and click on 'Support for In-salon Assessors'. Here you will find links to a wide range of handbooks and support materials.


Number of apprenticeship vacancies at the end of December

This table sets out the number of apprenticeship vacancies that were live in December and advertised on the Find An Apprenticeship website.

Hairdressing falls within the sector area called 'Retail and Commercial Enterprise' - over five and half thousand vacancies!

Sector Area Live Vacancies
Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Care 400
Arts, Media and Publishing 100
Business, Administration and Law 7,520
Construction, Planning and the Built Environment 380
Education and Training 300
Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies 2,410
Health, Public Services and Care 4,620
Information and Communication Technology 960
Leisure, Travel and Tourism 440
Retail and Commercial Enterprise 5,620
Science and Mathematics -
Unknown 540
Total Apprenticeship Vacancies 23,040

Post-Brexit world needs leaders more than ever

Brexit and Article 50 remain at the top of the agenda for many businesses as we enter 2017. While uncertainty can make some act like a rabbit in the headlights, now is the time to act and ensure that your business is fully equipped and ready for the future. The next 12 months and beyond will require strong leaders to lessen the uncertain and potentially challenging times ahead. The reality is that there is a national leadership lag; some employees lack confidence in their leaders, there isn't enough leadership talent in the pipeline and rigid workplaces are inhibiting employees' creative energy. Along with fantastic leaders, the workplace needs to be somewhere everyone can thrive and work together. Creating environments people really want to work in is crucial to boost productivity.

Mass delays to publication of special needs (SEND) learner plans spark calls for government intervention

"Very concerning" delays with councils delivering education health and care plans (EHCP) for young people with special needs, which could deprive many of FE support from January, have sparked calls for a government crackdown. Local authorities are legally obliged to put in place the new plans for young people in FE and training which are different to previous learning difficulties assessment (LDA) recommendations. They were given until the end of August to do this for 19 to 25-year-olds. An extension until 31st December was subsequently provided by the Department for Education but this was only supposed to apply in "exceptional circumstances". Despite this, freedom of information request responses indicate that less than 30 local authorities across the country had transferred all their learners by the August deadline with 10 failing to transfer a single one by that date. A DfE spokesperson told FE Week today: "We have brought about the biggest changes to special educational needs and disability provision in a generation and are increasing overall high needs funding. "We allowed some funding flexibility in exceptional circumstances for local authorities in transferring 19 to 25-year-olds who had LDAs last year to ECHPs. This was to safeguard the interests of young people and ensure their high needs provision was not disrupted." She added that "19-25 year olds need the plans to be eligible for high needs funding. However, we allowed some funding flexibility to this rule, ‎in exceptional circumstances". The Local Government Association declined to comment on the delays.

Skills Funding Agency to remain in charge of assessment organisation register

The Skills Funding Agency (SFA) will stay in charge of the new register of apprentice assessment organisations, despite its slow start, and even though it is not related to funding. The government's Draft Strategic Guidance to the IfA, unveiled on January 4, controversially confirmed that the SFA would "maintain responsibility for administration" of the register. This will be a source of dismay to many in the sector who have been frustrated with the SFA's slow progress with approval of assessment organisations. In January, the SFA assumed responsibility for issuing certificates for completed apprenticeship standards, taking over from the Federation of Industry Sector Skills and Standards (FISSS). However, for apprentices completing an apprenticeship framework (as opposed to a new standard) ITS will still need to apply to FISSS for certificates, with the last ones expected to be issued in 2021/2022. The Institute for Apprenticeship's (IfA) strategic guidance indicated the SFA and not the IfA, which is supposed to be the new policing body for apprenticeships, will retain the certification responsibility long-term doesn't make sense to us, either!


Details of how the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) will operate has now been set out in draft strategic guidance which is open for consultation until the 31st January.

New plans for police constable apprenticeships unveiled

A police constable degree apprenticeship could help aspiring officers to meet new requirements for a degree level qualification to enter the profession from 2020, according to an announcement from the College of Policing today. The apprenticeship would be paid for by the force and take three years to complete, with the aim of better preparing officers for the "increasingly complex" nature of police work. Graduates would be able to take a six-month graduate programme, which would also be paid for by the police force, and there would be other opportunities to study a specific policing degree at university. The College of Policing recently carried out a consultation on a programme of work to design a Policing Education Qualifications Framework. It received over 3,000 responses, almost 80 per cent of which were from police officers. Nearly three quarters of the respondents in policing said they were interested in gaining accreditation for their existing skills. If approved the planned changes are expected in pilot form in 2017, when the College of Policing will also publish a directory of education qualifications for officers and staff, including guidance as to how their on-the-job experience counts towards recognition.

Congratulations to the following learners who completed their apprenticeships

Beth Griffiths Level 3 Apprenticeship Armstrong Hair Cutters, Ashford

Fern Bowler Level 2 Apprenticeship Aveda, Guildford

Krista Farnham Level 3 Apprenticeship Armstrong hair Cutters, Ashford


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