From education to employment

Localisation in Adult Education

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As a national training provider, at The B2W Group it is our focus and mission to deliver the same high-quality training to all of our funding areas. Prior to 2020, our delivery was largely in-person focused, with face-to-face classrooms and a physical presence within the local communities.

When the Covid-19 pandemic struck, we were quick to respond by taking our delivery strategy online and remote to ensure that our learners still received valuable training. While there were challenges along the way, we successfully maintained quality of education.

Since then, we have found other benefits and values in maintaining a semi-remote mode of education delivery, such as ease of access and reduced expenses for our learners, speed of delivery, and more flexibility around learning for all parties.

At the same time, we have never neglected the importance of face-to-face delivery. As in-person communication becomes more accessible and stable, we are in a phase of shift to a more local face-to-face delivery for our education contracts. While remote learning will always be utilised, classroom-based learning is making a huge comeback at The B2W Group.

As the country got control of Covid-19, a measured and safe return to “face-to-face” has been pushed to the forefront of adult education strategy; despite all the benefits of remote learning, there are some benefits only available when training providers such as ourselves have boots on the ground in local communities and can deliver the training needed in-person.

Local communities take control of their learning

In 2019, the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) handed accountability for the totality of the Adult Education Budget (AEB) over to local councils and Mayoral Combined Authorities (MCAs). As such, these authorities took responsibility for local funding adult education, giving greater powers to local areas.

As part of the devolution deals, certain adult education functions in the Apprenticeships Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 which are funded by the AEB, were transferred from the Secretary of State for Education to the devolved MCAs in relation to their respective areas by Legislative Orders. These functions have been delegated to the Mayor of London in respect of the GLA.

The landscape is now made up of mayoral combined authorities – Cambridge & Peterborough, Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, North of Tyne, Sheffield City, Tees Valley, West Midlands, West of England, West Yorkshire, Greater London.

Servicing local communities

The devolution of local authorities presented a particular challenge for National organisation such as ourselves at The B2W Group, who have a focus on delivering the same highest standard of adult education to all parts of England.

With the transformation, came new funding and performance management rules set out by each individual local authority. Due to funding being devolved into local authorities, they had the power to decide which providers they wanted to build a funding relationship with to deliver AEB provision for learners resident in their respective areas.

This first wave of Mayoral Combined Authorities have now begun to decide upon and drive their own agendas on how the AEB budget can be best spent to support the adult learners in their areas. Authorities have a particular focus on ensuring value for money for the learners within their areas, and they want to see their “sons and daughters” succeed in adult education.

At The B2W Group, we have continued to work with local combined authorities to ensure we deliver and maintain the same high-quality standard of training to adults in these areas. But for us, the priority has shifted to a more bespoke strategy, with an increased focus on localisation and place-based commissioning.

Regional Engagement

The latest initiative we have employed at The B2W Group is the development of our Regional Engagement Management team and the marketing activity to support this.

It’s the job of our Regional Engagement Managers (REMs) to embed themselves in the community and have “boots on the ground” across our contract areas. Rather than a Nationwide spread, this newest strategy allows us to engage with and understand each of the regions and communities within the areas to ensure the bespoke level of training we are already delivering.

Our Marketing activities have also come to reflect this new level of engagement; while lockdowns prevented in-person events and community networking opportunities, these continued remotely and are now back in full swing in person around the UK. Our Marketing is now more targeted with bespoke activity for key areas, and we are taking our offerings “on the road” with events, roadshows, local charity initiatives, and PR opportunities.

A locally-driven curriculum

As part of our shift towards localisation, we have continued to form strong relationships with Mayoral Combined Authorities to ensure we are delivering bespoke, quality education to the adults who need it. We are now also working more closely with local referral schemes and employer partners to ensure the best possible outcomes for our learners.

These two-way partnerships have ensured deeper-rooted relationships and understanding between ourselves and a broad range of stakeholders in our delivery regions.

As such, our curriculums are now better informed and their development is driven by a confirmed local need in each Combined Authority. The days of “one size fits all” are gone, with a local, “boots on the ground” approach taking centre stage to ensure quality of education for all.

Adult learning at The B2W Group

The B2W Group provide professional training, coaching and recruitment services to suit the needs of a range of employers and individuals. Founded in 2011, The B2W Group has trained and supported tens of thousands of people throughout the UK into a variety of businesses, both large and small. We provide innovative training and recruitment solutions for organisations by tailoring our services to the employer’s and employee’s needs.

The B2W Group has a fresh approach to transforming businesses by up-skilling their current employees, helping them to recruit new talent or supporting them through the process of hiring an apprentice.  All of our courses are available through various streams of Government funding and so they are a cost-effective way to provide high-quality training within the workplace.

Learn more about our programmes and employment opportunities below:

  • Pre-employment training and support for the unemployed across warehouse & logistics, contact centre, construction, digital skills and more:
  • Employed and unemployed learning and career opportunities including apprenticeships, Digital & LGV Bootcamps, Restart, Building Futures, Future You Digital Skills for Growth, E-Learning and more:

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