Third sector engagement with Apprenticeships
CFE, commissioned by the Learning and Skills Council in the South East, has undertaken a review of Third Sector engagement with Apprenticeships. The research sought to identify the key operational principles of good practice and any barriers faced when promoting Apprenticeships to Third Sector employers. The research will inform the development of a LSC regional strategy to engage the sector in the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS).
The research comprised three key stages and involved: reviewing existing literature; data and information; and conducting interviews with key stakeholders and Third Sector employers. The research also included 10 case studies of good practice in Third Sector employer’s engagement with Apprenticeships. This specifically included:
- recruiting apprentices in line with the organisations charitable remit
- offering intense support to apprentices
- working with disadvantaged young people
- providing additional investment to ease apprentice recruitment and to aid retention.
The research report outlines a series of key findings and recommendations for the future engagement of the Third Sector with the National Apprenticeship Service, these include:
- A priority for the National Apprenticeship Service must be to increase demand for Apprenticeships amongst Third Sector employers in the South East region. Only 4.5 per cent of Third Sector employers in the South East engaged with Apprenticeships in the last twelve months (national average was 4.7 per cent). This is estimated to be only 631 organisations and therefore the Third Sector’s awareness of Apprenticeships needs to be increased. The emphasis should be on how Apprenticeships are relevant to the sector and be targeted at new recruits due to a high percentage of the existing workforce already being highly qualified.
- The development of a Third Sector specific Apprenticeship framework should be built upon existing Apprenticeship frameworks most commonly used by Third Sector employers. At present there are no specific Third Sector Apprenticeship frameworks; however, our research found Business Administration, Creative, Hospitality and Youth Work to be the most frequently used frameworks by Third Sector employers. Skills-Third Sector has made good early progress and is appropriately positioned to scope the need for a Third Sector Apprenticeship framework which if developed should include; fundraising, campaigning and managing volunteers.
- The National Apprenticeship Service and Skills-Third Sector should create greater flexibility in Apprenticeship frameworks; considering how Third Sector in-house provision could be given Apprenticeship status. There is clear evidence of demand for Apprenticeship style training in the Third Sector, however most current provision does not entirely meet Third Sector employer’s needs. Many Third Sector employers preferred informal apprenticeship style provision, as it enabled them to: design their own specific training; train who they wanted; and to be flexible around their own working conditions.
- The Third Sector should collaborate to establish an Apprenticeship Training Agency; building on innovative experience within the sector of Apprenticeship delivery and employer engagement. Further consultation on appropriate delivery models for Third Sector Apprenticeships should be facilitated by the Third Sector National Learning Alliance. Such a model could be based on key characteristics of consortia demonstrated by the South London Learning Consortia or ViSTA, both case studies featured in the report. Current delivery models in the Third Sector reflect aspects of Group Training Associations and Apprenticeship Training Agencies (ATAs), which have employer engagement as an integral feature.
The full publication, featuring 10 case studies of Third Sector employer’s engagement with Apprenticeships can be found here.
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0116 229 3300.