Trailblazer qualification employer showcase included freight forwarding, warehouse, and express delivery

The Transport trailblazer groups were invited to the National Trailblazer conference, both freight Forwarding and Express in attendance, the conf hosted NW England at the Manchester City Etihad football stadium in an ocean of pale blue success for apprenticeship delivery across all sectors,

Keynote by the Minister Anne Milton to a full house of employers and Trailblazer chairs. ‘Next generation workforce success and value for money for the employers.’



Keynote Speech

The Rt Hon Anne Milton, Minister for Skills and Apprenticeships, Member of Parliament

‘Work to develop an apprenticeship is substantial, I thank you for your work to develop these qualifications. I appreciate this is often not part of your day job. I am thrilled to see apprentices going through end point assessments successfully in growing numbers. Apprenticeships are capturing a broader range of talent, employer led, parents see this as a career prospect, there is a shift in how the public think of apprenticeships. We still have work to do on perception with parents and carers. We have launched a feedback tool for all employers to access. Frameworks will be switched of in August 2020. We anticipate 500 standards in 2019. Employers must use this opportunity. We will seek views on the levy in 2020 to review the skilled workforce success. ‘

Minister - Taking questions

‘Funding, it’s a fine balance, we have to get the balance right. – Getting the apprenticeship message out, There is a legal obligation for training providers to be let in schools, there is a host of work to do, parents still want their children to go to University, young apprenticeship ambassador scheme is doing great work.’ – Funding fees are fixed but candidates are varied, can we see a means testing for candidates, Minister answers, ‘There are varied candidates and I am looking at this side of things.’ ‘205 is the lowest level of off the job training, it is unlikely this will be altered, I have been looking at prier learning, should some apprenticeships be shortened because of this. An employer who puts an existing employee on the apprenticeship scheme must value the added experience, companies training up make an important step.’

Jonathan Mitchell, Deputy Director Standards Development Team, Institute for Apprenticeships

‘Listening and learning at heart of our culture, Today we want to hear your views. We want a base line, top three, attracting new talent, giving employers control of quality, funding staff development make the top three issues.‘

Anthony Jenkins, Chair, Institute for Apprenticeships

‘I am a Manchester City supporter, a former banker and been with IFA from the beginning, today I am a levy paying employer. Productivity, Brexit, how to fill the skills that come with these challenges. Launching the levy and the Trailblazer scheme places employers at its heart. We need these reforms. Over 2,600 employers have been engaged in the Trailblazer process. It's not always been easy, balancing large and small and working with competitors. 350 standards approved, a range of apprenticeships of the highest quality.’ Integrated degree L6 just been completed inside six months with an intensive effort to get it through between IFA and employers.’ ‘T levels, we have a plan and it’s a good plan, preparations are underway, we want employers involved.’

IFA - Looking Forward - Sir Gerry Berragan, IFA CEO

‘Where we are and where we are going, we should not underestimate the challenge. It may take ten years and we are only half way, We have set a target to approve 80% of standards first time, we are trying to be more responsive to employers, we are on track to 400 standards by the end of the financial year. Its not just about the number, range is important, first six months this year we have approved 90 standards. We believe we can sustain this level of approvals. This academic year sees 150 thousand candidate starts.

Growth is exponential. Four years on we are seeing seed change in aspirations for employers to use apprenticeships. A significant number of frameworks remain, chancellor was clear he would remove funding for frameworks. There is a L2 and L3 review to see what may replace gaps. We need to see providers grow capacity to deliver apprenticeships.

Funding, our focus is on value for money, levy supports all candidates, frameworks and standards, levy tax is often not seen when its been spent on frameworks, it’s a myth that there is a huge levy pot unspent out there. We see funding bands to become route reviews in next six months, we will be re-visiting standards from early in the programme.

Quality assurance, quality alliance has been established, we are reviewing quality criteria for providers, there will need to be a track record and in specific subjects, bringing confidence to employers. We are less concerned about EQA as coverage is strong.

Feedback, we are not universally popular, but we have a good feedback on engagement. We are not complacent, that’s why we are having this summit today. We are on the right direction. We would not be doing our job if we did not judge quality to approve standards. The emphasis is getting the proposal right first time.’

The Employer and Apprentice Perspective Beth Orford, Strategic Resourcing Consultant, Virgin Money

‘Last month I began a masters as an apprentice, Virgin Money has about three thousand employees, we use themes of pre-career, strive to thrive, all leading to apprenticeship programmes. Building our brand. Using the levy wisely to upskill our workforce. Good news stories are bubbling up across the business.

Panel with Institute staff, led by David Sampson

‘In working out a funding band, IFA compare to existing standards to begin, looking for value for money, taking on-board cost of qualifications.’ – ‘Quality on assessment? EPAs are tested to the same standard and they are following the standard, it’s the EQAs job to check this, it is a work in progress. It is hard to consistently judge the end point assessment plans with variations in likes of multiple choice questions, are they detailed, length of time, length of questions ect’ – ‘Different EQA process? This is a myth, there are no random process, IFA have a robust EQA programme.’ – ‘Non-levy-funded providers, register to the list, evidence was based on none framework delivery, based on the past, reviewing register, new providers who meet quality should be able to get on the register if they show they can do this stuff. Work for this is in progress.’ – ‘The future review progress? We have recently launched the digital review, we are clear this must be risk led, more established sectors may not need three year cycle. We hear the need for stability.’ – ‘Trailblazer chairs should have input into route panel membership decisions? Route panel chairs are encouraged to call the chair of Trailblazer, route panels are clearly part of the decision making.’


Recommending Funding Bands workshop - Presenters : Babs Ganley, Brin Linsell (IFA)

Workshop from the Institute’s Funding Team on how to complete a training quote, the process for assigning funding bands and the common pitfalls seen in quotations. ‘Our over arching emphasis is to provide access and deliver value for money. ‘ Babs Ganley, ‘Let me walk you through the funding cycle, proposal, standard, proposal. The current process as a faster and better system. We base an initial funding band on what we have at the time. From frameworks ect to create an initial funding band. We take into account cost for of the job training, we look at sector, published rates at ESFA and then an EPA up lift. No mention of level but we are looking at this. We get expert advice from the route panel, the approval committee then sit above. Big and small employers have very different requests, providers need to understand the ATP, apprenticeship training plan. DFE set the funding rules which are owned by the ESFA. Only eligible costs can go into the funding band.


Transport and logistics route panel, (no road transport) Karina Khandket Heathrow Academy, Paul Richardson DHL innovation, chair - Michelle Nolan-McSweeney Network Rail, Neil Atkins Fleetwood Nautical college, Mark Swan Frimstone.