From education to employment

Ofsted round-up – This week: BCTG gains above average results

Black Country Training Group, Oldbury

Summary of grades awarded:

Effectiveness of provision Satisfactory: Grade 3

Capacity to improve Satisfactory: Grade 3

Achievement and standards Good: Grade 2

Quality of provision Satisfactory: Grade 3

Leadership and management Satisfactory: Grade 3

Equality of opportunity Contributory grade: Satisfactory: Grade 3

Sector subject areas:

Health, public services and care Good: Grade 2

Engineering and manufacturing technologies Good: Grade 2

Construction, planning and the built environment Good: Grade 2

Information and communication technology Satisfactory: Grade 3

Retail and commercial enterprise Satisfactory: Grade 3

Preparation for life and work Satisfactory: Grade 3

Business, administration and law Good: Grade 2

In 2001 Black Country Training Group was established as a limited by guarantee training organisation. Black Country Training Group provides Train to Gain programmes to employed adults at its training site in the West Midlands. At the time of the inspection, the total number of learners at Black Country Training Group was 5,145. A management Level 4 NVQ is also available through BCTG which is funded by the European Social Fund. A programme aimed at engaging young people not in education, employment or training into further training or employment has recently started. BCTG has held the Investors in People award since 2003.

The effectiveness of the provision was overall judged as satisfactory. Since the introduction of the Train to Gain programmes in 2006, the provision has grown considerably and success rates have improved each year. BCTG are now high across most sector subject areas. The self-assessment report carried out by BCTG provides an accurate reflection of the provision, however some subject area reports are insufficiently self-critical.

The quality of provision is satisfactory on the whole. Training, teaching and learning are satisfactory for most sector subject areas. Training is well planned and structured to meet the needs of the individuals and employers. All assessment takes place in the workplace and assessors use very good questioning to confirm and extend learner knowledge. Progress reviews are often ineffective, do not sufficiently identify the learning and development that needs to take place and do not reinforce learners’ knowledge of equality of opportunity.

Achievements and standards are good. Success rates show an improving trend at 71% in 2006/07 and 85% in 2007/08. Rates are particularly high for learners at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, who experience good timely success. Learners develop good workplace skills and have a greater understanding of the theories of care practice. Learners have a good understanding of their work activities and responsibilities and demonstrate increased confidence to challenge other members of staff.

Overall the provider achieved an above average success rate, the inspection finds a good level of development in work-based skills and shows a highly effective development of programmes to meet sector needs. BCTG has particularly effective support for learners, however the inspection finds that some learners progress is slow and that its review procedures are deemed ineffective.

By Natalie Hailes

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