Articles from Innovate Awarding

Innovate Awarding to divulge the secrets of end-point assessment at the AELP National Conference this June

Now that the apprenticeship standards and apprenticeship levy have launched; providers are turning their attention to end-point assessment and how this will work in practice. To help, national apprenticeship awarding organisation, Innovate Awarding, will be on-hand to support with up-to-the-minute details on all things end-point assessment at the AELP National Conference 2017, 26th-27th June at the Novotel London West (Booth 35/36).

How to deliver the new End Point Assessment

The introduction of End Point Assessment (EPA) into new Apprenticeship standards brings a fresh challenge for apprentices, employers and, in particular, Assessors. However, as many Apprentice Assessment Organisations (AAOs) are already discovering, the new standards are creating opportunities for Assessors to make the transition.

Ensuring clarity and consistency across End Point Assessment

Since Innovate Awarding became approved to be an End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO), we have been banging the drum for clarity on roles and responsibilities and for consistency of approach – particularly for resits, retakes and cancellations. These are areas I fully believe should not be competitive differentials – they must be applied consistently across all EPAOs.

Employer Providers – is it the way forward?

The Register of Apprenticeship Providers (RoATP) has seen an increase in employers putting themselves forward to become employer providers, and it is likely this will increase when the new register entrants are shared in January. So, firstly, why would an employer wish to become a training provider? There are many reasons why employers may be considering applying for employer-provider status, whereby the employer delivers apprenticeship training directly to their employees rather than outsourcing to an external training provider:

Fresh thinking for a better education future

As a new UK Government takes its place, charged with leading the country for the next five years, it is a natural point to stop and take stock of where as a country we need to prioritise our thinking and resources.Education comes very near the top of any action list designed to improve our national prospects and make us a stronger, more prosperous and competitive nation.Past Government-led, education-related policies have tended to lurch from one extreme to another, during periods when short-term popular tactics have often taken precedent over longer-term strategic planning.I believe the time has now come to put an end to such a short-sighted approach and with it the nigh impossible challenge of measuring the impact of, for example, qualification policy changes that are often not given enough time to work through the system.Instead, we should look to instigate a far more cohesive and joined-up UK education system; one that supports the needs of learners and gives the country the kind of flexible, skilled and confident workforce our businesses are going to require in the future.A joined-up approachA good starting point would be to undertake a comprehensive review of the entire current education and skills system. Analysing how we can better integrate primary education with further and higher education, and include adult education and programmes associated with getting people back to work, could lay the groundwork for a far more unified system.Instead of focussing as at present upon isolated islands of education, by looking at the education journey from beginning to end, and assessing critical elements such as teaching capacity, resources, funding and training, we can at least begin to map out and assess if the current system is 'fit-for-purpose' to deliver the kind of future education outcomes we all aspire to.This should also include a review of course and qualification content to assess if the skills we are teaching young people today are truly appropriate for the world of work they will encounter in five, ten, or fifteen years' time?It is a massive undertaking, but one that deserves sympathetic consideration. Central to its success would be a consensus across all political parties that a holistic long-term solution is required, rather than short-termism, which, unfortunately, has been the case over recent decades.Any manufacturing operation worth its salt forensically examines the end-to-end process it has to undertake to produce its goods. They understand their starting point and they know what outcome they wish to see. All the constituents parts in between are cohesively joined together, or else the system fails.The education journey must start to be seen in the same way.A longer-term view allows the true impact of measures and policies to be monitored and reported upon fairly, away from the transitory nature of politics and the shadow of five year terms that often mean sound strategic decision-making is forsaken at the expense of short-term popularity.To achieve it, fresh thinking and cross-party support is required. Once the review path is set, it needs to be left alone to take its course to help create the integrated and consistent education system our young people deserve and our country needs.Charlotte Bosworth is director of skills and employment at awarding body OCR

Shaping the future

OCR, the awarding body, was recently asked to appear as a witness to the Education Select Committee's inquiry into the support, regulation and management of traineeship and apprenticeship pathways in the UK. Charlotte Bosworth, Director of Skills and Employment at OCR, shares their response.

It all adds up

Charlotte Bosworth, Director of Skills and Employment at exam board OCR, welcomes the recommendations of a new report into adult literacy and numeracy and urges the uptake of more flexible learning options to support adult learners.

A pathway to greater success

Charlotte Bosworth, director of skills and employment at exam board OCR outlines a five point charter to drive better connectivity between the worlds of education and business.

Giving students the best chance to shine

Michael Gove's recent education reforms seek to address the concern that about 20% of our young people leave school illiterate and innumerate. But instead of 'dumbing down' testing and performance measures, we should instead be seeking ways to demonstrate an individual's qualifications. The occupational landscape is set to be very different by 2030 which means that our assessment landscape needs to support the economy and demonstrate the relevant skills required for a role.

Encouraging entrepreneurship as an opportunity for all

Charlotte Bosworth, director for skills and employment at awarding body OCR, believes the merits of encouraging student interest in the world of enterprise and entrepreneurship will reap dividends for young people in particular, and the nation generally. She outlines the positive practical steps and encouragement OCR is supporting to help ensure students have all the tools they need to successfully enter the world of commerce.While the notion of entrepreneurship has over recent years gained a high profile thanks to TV programmes such as 'The Apprentice', nonetheless the majority of students looking to arm themselves with the necessary skills, attributes and qualifications to forge a successful business career can often struggle to develop their potential and demonstrate their true abilities. With the generally accepted view that the country needs higher numbers of young entrepreneurs to support economic growth and build new, exciting businesses, it has never been more important to establish a strong enterprise and entrepreneur culture that the young generation can tap into.At Government level the work being undertaken by Lord David Young looking at the role of education and enterprise is most welcome. As a supporter of work in this field, OCR, as a leading awarding body, is delighted to be actively participating both by providing feedback to Lord Young's review, as well as developing our own practical initiatives in this critical area.We want to get the message across that a sense of entrepreneurship, good ideas, taking an initiative and seizing opportunities are not the preserve of the few. Regardless of background, geographic location or individual ability, everyone has the same chance to succeed if supported, motivated and enabled. We talk about the three Rs of reading, writing and arithmetic, but what about the 3 Es – enterprise, entrepreneurship and employability?What are some of the key elements of the movement to put enterprise centre stage in the minds of students, many of whom will form our next generation of business leaders?At a national level and offering a practical platform for students to test their entrepreneurial skills is the National Enterprise Challenge (NEC); an inter-school competition available to all secondary schools in the UK. The challenges are tailor-made 'real life' business challenges designed to stimulate student ideas and motivate them. As Theo Paphitis from Ryman Stationery - who are helping to set this year's challenge - says to participating students: "The National Enterprise Challenge is the start of a journey to making you successful. It will begin to provide you with the tools to be in business." Such is our belief in the importance of the initiative that we intend to provide the funding for a number of secondary schools to participate in the 2014 NEC and who might not have otherwise been able to take part without our support.As well as supporting the laudable aim of the NEC, OCR has also recently developed its own bespoke set of qualifications to recognise achievement in the world of enterprise. 'Being Entrepreneurial' is a value for money qualification suite, based on programmes established in close consultation with current young entrepreneurs so that the course content matches the expectations of those looking to make the most of the opportunity.The new formal OCR qualification recognise learners have attained the essential transferable skills that can be applied in future learning or everyday aspects of life in social or work situations. Students get the opportunity to investigate the true meaning of what it is to be entrepreneurial and the kind of mind set required to succeed. They then underscore this with practical skills such as problem solving, communication, research and change management which will arm students with the attributes sought by employers in the 21st century. We feel the 'Being Entrepreneurial' qualification portfolio is an important addition to the national award framework with its explicit objective to help and recognise the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.Other significant initiatives set to boost a spirit of enterprise across the country's student community includes Entrepreneur Live, a series of six events that will run through the year and give 6,000 students the chance to engage with some of the UK's top entrepreneurs and gather inspiration and insight about their successes. Likewise the Premier League Enterprise Challenge sees the world's most watched football league run a business-based competition through the Premier League Enterprise Academy framework to help hard-to-reach youngsters assess and interact with the world of business. Teacher resources have been developed with the Premier League to support the programme and all students have the opportunity to achieve a recognised qualification.Finally, to help inspire students, the work of The Entrepreneurial Education Group (TEEG), formed through a partnership between YES Education and OCR, is designed to equip and lead a new generation of entrepreneurial educators. TEEG sees itself as a fusion between entrepreneurs, business and education with the aim to embed a more entrepreneurial mind-set to the world of work. It will create a national network of advice, mentoring and good practice and partner with schools, colleges, secure institutions, businesses and entrepreneurs to forge a wholly integrated approach.It is clear from the wide range of examples here that the drive to support enterprise, entrepreneurship and employability is gaining real traction. The common factor is the opening up of opportunity for the many, not just the few, and the strong desire to release the untapped business potential of the nation's youth. OCR intends to play a full part in this realisation.Charlotte Bosworth is director for skills and employment at OCR, the awarding body


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