Providers advised to assess apprentices’ skills at outset.

‘Chris Jones, Ofsted’s specialist adviser for apprenticeships, explained that the lack of qualifications within new apprenticeship standards has led to an “unintended consequence”: trainers will miss out on information vital for tracking apprentices’ development.

Speaking at FE Week’s Festival of Skills on June 22, Mr Jones said: “If an apprentice is not doing a whole set of units as they go through an apprenticeship then all those measures that we have in frameworks disappear.

“In a progress review with an apprentice, we can’t say ‘make sure next time I come you’ve finished unit 35’ – it isn’t going to work anymore.”

In a couple of years, he suggested, there might not be any be reliable national data to work with for apprenticeship standards.

The percentage of apprenticeships standards without qualifications is expected to rise…

While the standards had end-point assessments in place, they do not provide the apprentices with the chance to accumulate qualifications as they move through their training – as was the case with the previous apprenticeship frameworks, he said.

In light of this, he advised providers in the audience to properly assess students’ skills from the very beginning, so they would have a baseline against which to measure their progress.

Mr Jones added that this needed to go beyond just measuring English and maths, to give a clear indication of how capable the apprentice was in a range of areas relevant to the occupation before they began their course.’ – FE Week


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