Toyota (GB) PLC, Nottingham

Summary of grades awarded:

Effectiveness of provision Good: Grade 2

Capacity to improve Good: Grade 2

Achievement and standards Outstanding: Grade 1

Quality of provision Good: Grade 2

Leadership and management Good: Grade 2

Equality of opportunity Contributory grade: Satisfactory: Grade 3

Sector subject areas:

Motor vehicle Good: Grade 2

Toyota (GB) PLC was established in the UK in 1965 to import and sell Toyota vehicles. There is a network of Toyota (and Lexus) centres around the country that sell and repair Toyota vehicles, many of which employ young people training as vehicle technicians, body repairers, paint refinishers or other positions. Training is provided through apprenticeships or advanced apprenticeships. During the inspection, there were a total of 202 apprentices and 77 advanced apprentices.

Ofsted said the overall effectiveness of provision at Toyota was good, and the company had a good capacity to improve. Achievement and standards received an outstanding grade with Ofsted agreeing with the self-assessment that “excellent” success rates were a key strength. The report noted: “In 2006/07, the full framework success rate for Toyota apprentices was 98% compared with a national rate of 61%, while the framework success rate for advanced apprentices was 97% compared with 58% nationally.” Learners were found to make good progress and develop very good vocational skills.

Training, teaching and learning were all described as very good. Inspectors felt that training and skills development was a strength and said that tutors used, “a wide range of stimulating and imaginative teaching methods that engage the enthusiasm and interest of learners.” They saw that different learning styles were being catered for, and that learners received very good support from a workplace mentor. The training facilities and resources available were also highlighted as strength.

Leadership and management were graded as good. This was the only section in which Ofsted suggested there were areas for improvement. They thought the development of equality and diversity awareness in the workplace was insufficient, but could be improved if learners’ understanding was reinforced during progress reviews. Arrangements to support additional language, literacy and numeracy requirements could also be better. Inspectors did say that Toyota had a, “highly effective strategy for the growth of the apprenticeship programme.” Other strengths for the provider included a “very well managed” training programme and very effective partnership working.

Citroën UK Limited, Slough

Summary of grades awarded:

Effectiveness of provision Satisfactory: Grade 3

Capacity to improve Good: Grade 2

Achievement and standards Satisfactory: Grade 3

Quality of provision Satisfactory: Grade 3

Leadership and management Satisfactory: Grade 3

Equality of opportunity Contributory grade: Satisfactory: Grade 3

Sector subject area:

Engineering and manufacturing technologies: Satisfactory: Grade 3

With headquarters in Slough, Citroën UK Limited provide apprenticeships through a network of dealerships across the UK. Citroën currently have a contract with Calex UK Ltd (Calex) to provide training, assessment and management of learner performance. At the time of inspection there were 119 apprentices and 26 advanced apprentices undertaking training programmes that include light vehicle maintenance, vehicle body repair and refinishing, and parts operations. Some learners are working towards a customer service adviser qualification.

Most areas of Citroën’s report were graded as satisfactory, though Ofsted felt that the capacity to improve was good because, “since April 2007, the company [had] established an effective partnership… with the subcontractor Calex.” Achievement and standards were judged to be satisfactory. Learners were found to produce good quality work, while the development of their social and workplace skills was considered a strength. Learner progress was found to be improving.

The quality of provision earned a satisfactory grade. Off-the-job training, which was described as “well planned and structured,” was a key strength. Assessment, progress reviews and the use of individual learning plans (ILPs) were highlighted as areas for improvement. Inspectors suggested these areas could be better if learners were more aware of framework areas they needed to complete, and if targets were more specific and sufficiently challenging. Inspectors said there was a good range of provision that met the needs of learners and employers. Resources were found to be good.

Ofsted gave leadership and management at Citroën a satisfactory grade. They reported: “Citroën has a clear commitment and direction in developing, integrating and managing the apprenticeship programme.” Recent quality improvement activities were good and listed as a key strength. Plans regarding equality policy were deemed underdeveloped and Ofsted thought that better use of data would lead to further improvements. Other strengths included good partnership arrangements, and “particularly good” arrangements to ensure learners’ safety and welfare.

North London Garage Group Training Association, Enfield

Summary of grades awarded:

Effectiveness of provision Satisfactory: Grade 3

Capacity to improve Good: Grade 2

Achievement and standards Satisfactory: Grade 3

Quality of provision Satisfactory: Grade 3

Leadership and management Satisfactory: Grade 3

Equality of opportunity Contributory grade: Satisfactory: Grade 3

Sector subject area:

Engineering and manufacturing technologies Satisfactory: Grade 3

North London Garages GTA (NLG) is company, based in Enfield, North London, that offers apprenticeships and advanced apprenticeships in light and heavy vehicle maintenance and body repair. The company work with a range of employers from independent garages to national transport companies. At the time of inspection there were 69 learners following light vehicle maintenance programmes, 12 on heavy vehicle maintenance and 8 undertaking body repair and paint refinishing programmes.

The effectiveness of provision at NLG was satisfactory. Ofsted said the company had, “taken effective steps to improve the provision since the previous inspection,” and graded capacity to improve as good. Achievement and standards, which received a satisfactory grade, had improved each year since the previous inspection, but remained an area for improvement. The report noted that learners made good progress in the workplace and achieved a range of good additional qualifications; one of the provider’s key strengths.

The quality of provision was satisfactory and inspectors stated that: “Learners benefit from good practical training in the workplace, which are well equipped garage workshops.” They were pleased to find that some employers went beyond the framework requirements in order to meet some learners’ specialised needs. Progress reviews were considered satisfactory, though inspectors wanted to see more detailed target-setting. Support for learners with additional learning needs was satisfactory.

Leadership and management were given a satisfactory grade. Ofsted thought that introducing effective strategies to improve success rates was one of NLG’s strengths. They felt the company had, “clearly focused on the areas for improvement identified in the previous reinspection.” The full implementation of some quality assurance processes was the main area for improvement in this section. Equality of opportunity and staff development were satisfactory, and partnership working was very effective.

Hawk Training, Twickenham

Summary of grades awarded:

Effectiveness of provision Good: Grade 2

Capacity to improve Outstanding: Grade 1

Achievement and standards Good: Grade 2

Quality of provision Good: Grade 2

Leadership and management Good: Grade 2

Equality of opportunity Contributory grade: Satisfactory: Grade 3

Sector subject areas:

Health, public services and care Good: Grade 2

Retail and commercial enterprise Outstanding: Grade 1

Business administration and law Good: Grade 2

Established in 1988, Hawk Management Limited, which trades as Hawk Training, is a private company that provides apprenticeships, advanced apprenticeships and Train to Gain programmes in health, public services and care, retail and commercial enterprise and business, administration and law, and a small amount of ICT provision (which was not inspected). The company became a Centre of Vocational Excellence (CoVE) in retail in 2006. Hawk Training operate throughout the Greater London area, and thus learners come from a wide range of London boroughs.

Ofsted’s report for Hawk Training consisted mostly of good grades, though a few areas, such as the capacity to improve, were judged to be outstanding. Achievement and standards were good and the report stated: “Overall success rates are generally high and timely success rates have been consistently close to overall rates and significantly above national averages.” These were key strengths. Success rates for Train to Gain learners in retail were highlighted for being outstanding. The development of vocational skills and the progress made by learners were good.

Inspectors agreed with the self-assessment that the quality of provision was good. They noted: “In all areas, learners receive good coaching and training to develop their vocational and personal skills.” Another strength was the good quality learning facilities and resources available to support learners and assessors. Arrangements for meeting the needs of individual learners and employers were found to be good.

Ofsted felt that leadership and management were good. However, most of the areas for improvement they listed related to this section. They thought that arrangements for evaluating the quality of teaching and learning were insufficient, but would be better once policies for observing lessons were fully implemented. It was noted that few staff have formal qualifications to support literacy and numeracy. Nevertheless, Ofsted also accepted that Hawk Training had a “strong strategic direction” and good programme management. Quality improvement was described as good, partnerships were “very effective” and the use of accurate management information was “excellent”.

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