Dear Readers, welcome back to the ACE360 blog! Today we will be sharing a collection of April apprenticeship news pieces as part of our FE roundup. Keep an eye on your inbox – each month we share the update as an email newsletter too!

In this edition, we reflect on many topics ranging from the gender imbalance within tech all the way through to the signs of recovery and ongoing challenges within the education sector.

So please, read on and join us in our latest issue!

Apprenticeship News April

Only A Quarter Of Skilled Tech jobs Are Held By Women

It has been reported by FENews that despite the increased female interest in technology, only 25% of roles are currently filled by women. This comes at a time when women are being actively encouraged to explore a role in tech by the Code Institute.

The Code Institute, who shares inspiring female graduate success stories to encourage others into the field, reported that the below four factors were uncovered throughout recent research to uncover the barriers that women face when considering learning code:

  • Negative perception: Coding is perceived as not something women are good at
  • Self-exclusion: The belief that you need to be good at maths to code
  • Time commitment: The concern that a course will not fit into their busy life
  • Lack of confidence: Especially around age

It’s interesting to read about the many different factors that influence whether females choose to learn code and how that influences whether they choose to pursue a career in tech. Certainly, the employers in our network who deal with tech-related Standards make a conscious effort to play their part by encouraging women into the sector through promotion of Apprenticeships. We hope that with time and collective effort, limiting self-beliefs are challenged and that tech becomes an increasingly popular field of both study and occupation for women in the future. Click here to read more.

April Apprenticeship News

The ’Levelling Up Agenda Webinar Series’

Having trouble divulging the Government’s Levelling Up Agenda? You’re not alone!
Save time and cut through the noise – join Emsi / Burning Glass for a 4-part webinar series which seeks to take a look at the role labour market data and skills insights can play in helping to understand and respond to the agenda.

To catch up / register for upcoming webinars, click here.

April Apprenticeship News - Collaboration is key to filling technical skills gap

Collaboration Is Key To Filling Technical Skills Gap

John McPherson, Managing Director at ABM UK, reports that collaboration is key to filling technical skills gaps.

Reporting specifically on the shortage of young talent entering Facilities Management as a career path, he highlights the unique role Apprenticeships can play in tackling the shortage. Specifically, he notes that Apprenticeships play an increasingly important role in attracting the right talent, but that their recent independent research found that:

Over a third of young individuals’ parents didn’t know what an apprenticeship was and a further third saw apprenticeships as a last resort for young people who fail their exams.

With the positive moves made by Government to raise the profile of Apprenticeships and technical roles, the lifetime skills guarantee, and apprenticeship levy have helped throw a spotlight on this discussion.

Despite these actions, still 68% of young people don’t know what an Apprenticeship is. It is reported that to counteract this, businesses in the sector and the broader industry need to make collaboration a key part of showcasing the benefits of Apprenticeships – something we at ACE360 are certainly keen on doing! Click here to read the full piece.

April Apprenticeship News - How To Choose An Apprentice-Centric EPAO

How To Choose An Apprentice-Centric EPAO

Sarah Finkle of NCFE reports in FEnews about how to choose an EPAO based on several different criteria.

Throughout the piece, she encourages providers to ask the question ‘what is the EPAOs motivation?’. The two primary reasons for this can be broadly categorised below:

  • To ascertain the EPAOs general approach (I.e. are they Apprentice centric?)
  • To find out what level of emphasis is placed on quality assessment of specific standards (and is the EPAO the best option out there?)

Finkle describes that this approach is better fitted than the three most commonly-used selection metrics below:

  • The preference of providers
  • Overall and first-time achievement rates
  • The cost of EPA per apprentice

At ACE360, we tend to agree! As a charity that empowers providers and assessment organisations to put quality experience at the forefront for the betterment of learner experiences, we would also encourage partner organisations to follow the proposed ‘stronger framework’ which focused on quality, compliance and service expectations.

Click here to read the full piece and for more information surrounding best practice and what they report to be outdated selection metrics.

Alex Burghart Sets Out The Future of Skills

Alex Burghart Sets Out The Future Of Skills

In a recent FEnews piece, Minister for Skills Alex Burghart addressed Policy Exchange, and reflected on his first six months of being Minister for Skills.

During these 6 months, he states ‘I have seen employers who for years have been able to depend on the import of cheap, pre-trained foreign labour becoming actively interested in our country’s skills agenda.’

Burghart continues the point by expressing that the Skills sector therefore must reflect on what employers need and indeed pre-empt what they will need in the future.

Indeed, the reforms by the DfE will be integral to deliver what is needed – nurses, social workers, care workers, teachers, local government administrators, civil servants and many different types of public servants. Reassuring listeners, Burghart highlights that Secretary of State Nadhim Zahawi is going to make the voice of employers absolutely central to the skills agenda.

At ACE360, we are happy to hear that the skills agenda will take the voices of employers seriously and by doing so hopefully delivering fit for purpose reforms centred on filling skills gaps and helping to address shortages in specific sectors. Click here to read the full piece.

Strong Signs Of Recovery Across Education, But Challenges Remain Say Ofsted - Sector Response

Strong Signs Of Recovery Across Education, But Challenges Remain Say Ofsted – Sector Response

On the 4th of April, the second raft of reports were published on Ofsted news which focused on making sense of the pandemic’s continued impact on education providers.

The report finds that there has been positive progress made across the sector, particularly to help children and learners recover the missed opportunities to develop skills and knowledge throughout the pandemic.

However, it’s clear that providers continue to face challenges, with Ofsted reporting that they could have long-term consequences. Click here to find out what they are.

Why Perceptions Of Cyber Security In Education Need To Change

Why Perceptions Of Cyber Security In Education Need To Change

Mark Scott, CEO at Cantium Business Solutions, reports that the last eighteen months have been particularly challenging for the education sector.

With remote learning being the common practice throughout the pandemic, schools and learning institutions now feel both vulnerable and unprepared to deal with the prospect of cyber-attacks and cyber criminals.

Throughout the piece, it is highlighted that school students are key targets for cyber-crime. In fact, according to the piece, a recent survey of over 500 decision makers in education showed that two-thirds (66%) of UK schools surveyed are claiming to have suffered a cyber-attack in the last 18 months.

At ACE360, this doesn’t surprise us. This is why it is our goal to provide industry-leading data security through use of our Apprenticeship Management Solution for an unbeatable price for Training Providers whilst offering basic accounts free of charge to EPAOs. Our approach to pricing, we believe, is central to our core mission as a charity to help providers, employers and EPAOs deliver and assess apprenticeships with confidence, for the betterment of the learner experience. We often hear from our network that ACE360 gives peace of mind when navigating the increasing threats posed by cyber-attacks and poor GDPR practices. Click here to read the full piece.

2020/21 Apprenticeship Achievement Rate Hits 57.7%

2020/21 Apprenticeship Achievement Rate Hits 57.7% – And Just 51.8% For Standards  

FEweek reports that just under half of learners on Apprenticeship Standards failed to complete their programme last year, with old-style framework Apprenticeships seeing pass rates of +68%.

Peter Mucklow of the DfE stated that his department would ‘not be satisfied with those levels’ and that ‘we need to get those achievement rates up.’

Click here to read the full piece.

Thank you for reading our April apprenticeship update. Keep an eye on the ACE360 blog for all the latest news pieces in the future!