From education to employment

Apprenticeship Workforce Development programme launches with sector-wide survey 

A teacher guides her student as they arrange tiles on a table in a construction workshop.

Today, a major training needs analysis survey is being launched, giving those involved in the delivery of apprenticeships the opportunity to shape the support they will be offered through the Apprenticeship Workforce Development (AWD) programme. Funded by the Department for Education (DfE), the AWD programme is being delivered by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) in partnership with the Association of Colleges (AoC), Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), Strategic Development Network (SDN), and the University Vocational Awards Council (UVAC), supported by SQW as an independent evaluation partner.  

The DfE-funded AWD programme initially launched in 2021 to support staff at all levels and roles delivering apprenticeships across Further and Higher Education settings. This second phase of the programme extends support to employers involved in apprenticeship delivery. It has been commissioned as a key part of the DfE’s strategy to drive quality improvement across apprenticeships.  

The continuous professional development (CPD) offered through the AWD programme is being developed in partnership with the sector to ensure its training needs are met. From today, apprenticeship providers, managers/leaders, teaching/training staff, employers, and apprentices are invited to share their views on training needs by completing the newly launched survey. Survey participants, and others from across the sector, will also be invited to participate in focus groups as a further opportunity to share their specific training needs, insights, and experiences to help shape the AWD offer.  

Based on the insights gained, a comprehensive package of industry-relevant CPD will be developed for apprenticeship providers, employers, and their workforces. This CPD will enable the delivery of high-quality teaching and training that equips apprentices with the knowledge, skills, and behaviours required for occupational competence. 

Working with the sector to shape this programme, and to determine how this significant investment in the workforce is spent, will help tackle current challenges including apprentice retention and raising achievement rates. 

Cerian Ayres, National Head of Technical Education at the Education and Training Foundation, said: “We are pleased to collaborate with our partners in launching this training needs analysis survey, which is a vital opportunity for the sector to take ownership of the new phase of the Apprenticeship Workforce Development programme and to shape the design and delivery of training and resources.  

“Apprenticeships are key to developing a highly skilled workforce to address the technical skills gap and to enable economic growth. Apprenticeships improve social mobility, enabling individuals to secure decent skilled work, and businesses and communities to thrive.  The ETF and its partners are committed to providing the training and resources the sector needs to deliver the best experience and positive outcomes for apprentices.” 

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