This Week's News 22.12.17
A Look Back at 2017
As we come towards the end of the year, there is a tendency for organisations to reflect on the challenges and achievements of the last 12 months. In successfully managing change, we have remained firmly focused on ensuring that an employer accessing apprenticeships, benefits from a high quality, impact-focused service. Feedback confirms that many of you are investing even more in your apprentices to maximise impact and provide real benefits for your business.
In the summer, the new level 2 Hair Professional standard came into play as well as the new funding methodology for apprenticeships which means non-levy paying employers only contribute 10 per cent for apprentices who are 19 and over. The Hair Professional standard has an end point assessment (EPA) that is taken once all the on-programme assessments are achieved and the English and maths tests are taken. We have encouraged in-salon assessors to apply to become EPA Examiners because there is no better way of discovering exactly what is expected and what it takes for an apprentice to achieve a distinction. The apprenticeship reforms also introduced the 20 per cent off the job training requirement and new partner salon agreements to reflect the changes.
This year's photographic competition had the theme "Best of British" and was a great success seeing apprentices from Union Hair and Dare Hairdressing scoop the first prizes for level 2 and level 3 (respectively). The theme for 2018 will decided once we hear your ideas at the Partner Salon Network meeting on Monday 12 February.
We set up an English & Maths Club which ran alongside the Partner Salon Network meetings. The idea was that apprentices came with their employers or in-salon assessors but this did not happen and numbers were hard to predict, which in turn led to planning problems for us. We're looking at other ways of getting apprentices working together in 2018.
You can now settle payments with ITS online, so you can wave goodbye to cheques and use a fast, streamlined and secure system using debit card.
In March, we expect to launch new resources for the Hair Professional - there will be videos, schemes of work, lesson plans and lots more.
Senior Hair Professional Apprenticeship Standard
We've been listening to your feedback and our aim has always been to hide all the red tape and wiring behind apprenticeships so that you can focus on first class training and support in the workplace. 2018 will (fingers crossed) see the arrival of the level 3 Senior Hair Professional apprenticeship standard and the Trailblazer Group who sets the standards is seeking your feedback. You need to read the standard here and then answer a few questions using this link.
National Apprenticeship Week 2018
We know that recruiting 16-18-year-old apprentices has never been tougher for you. We want to help you fill your vacancies and will be setting out plans for getting involved in March during National Apprenticeship Week 2018.
We are expecting a visit from Ofsted during 2018 because as a good provider, we are scheduled to be inspected every three years and it was July 2014 that we were last graced with their presence. Should inspectors want to visit salons and speak with your apprentices and those involved in training/assessment, we will give you as much notice as possible.
We are constantly impressed by your dedication and commitment to apprentices and truly value the fabulous relationships we have with you and your staff. We can claim to work in true partnership to deliver high-quality apprenticeships that see apprentices flourish and go on to wonderful things.
We hope you manage to have a relaxing... or exciting break, whatever takes your fancy! Team ITS wishes you and your family a very Happy Christmas and a healthy and happy 2018.
In the words of Buzz Lightyear (or candidate Elizabeth, the florist, in The Apprentice) from January, it is definitely "To infinity and beyond!"
The next issue of This Week's News will be published on Friday 12 January.
To keep up to date with the news as it happens, please follow us on Facebook