This week we have a guest blog from our neighbour Amanda Durnall at Experiential Training & Learning Ltd. If you would like to discuss Early Years’ qualifications with Amanda or Lynsey, you can reach them on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since the changes to funding during April 2017, many organisations have found that securing reliable, informative and cost-effective training options is likened to negotiating our Brexit deal! In this blog I will hopefully uncover the options that are available to you because more than ever before, you as the Employer are the key to a successful and happy workforce.
Option 1 – Apprenticeships
Apprenticeships have recently changed from Frameworks to new Standards that are seen to be the pinnacle of sector specific job roles. These standards include the undertaking of Functional Skills tests in English and Maths.
They have been changed to improve quality within the sector and fully include the support and decisions of the both the individual’s manager and/or Employer.
They result in the employee, upon completing the training elements, moving through a ‘Gateway’ where they will take an End Point Assessment (EPA) consisting of a multiple-choice exam, a professional discussion or observation or both.
Apprenticeships can be facilitated by colleges or training providers and each Apprenticeship should be seen as unique because a ‘one size fits all’ approach really does not work for Employers.
Remember that one of the big differences in this is that as an employer, you make the decisions and if you’re not happy you can withdraw your employee from the training provider!
Funding for Apprenticeships really depends on the size of your organisation. Larger companies will be paying the levy tax, which is then used to pay for Apprenticeships but for smaller companies, a contribution of 10% will need to be paid with the remainder paid for from Government funding.
There is also the option for employees, if eligible, to fund their own training using the ‘Advanced Learner Loan’(similar to the Student Loans system); paid back upon completion and when they are earning £25,000 or more.
Option 2 – Diploma-only
Diploma-only qualifications are becoming more popular as for many, the process of End Point Assessment can be nerve wracking and at worst, costly should the employee fail.
Diploma-only still demands the same qualification criteria be completed but the time frames can be more flexible to meet the individual need of both the Employer and Learner.
As an Employer you are still the decision maker and should be involved in creating a very bespoke package with the training provider of your choice. Diploma-only programmes mean you can compare prices, and qualification delivery options. For example is it distance learning or does it include face to face support and teaching?) Equally important. Whats the quality of the resources provided?
Up-skilling your staff is good for your organisation and good for your workforce. We all know that training can improve business performance, profit and staff morale. It allows you to target specific skills that will meet the needs of your company for now and in the future and demonstrates to your workforce that you really do value them but you can choose the shape of this training.