Education giant Pearson has unveiled a new breed of qualification that combines the hands-on learning style of Apprenticeships with the flexibility of the widely respected BTEC.
The BTEC Apprenticeship programme aims to drastically improve Apprenticeship retention rates and better meet the demands of training providers, employers and learners within the evolving education landscape.
According to Pearson, the exisiting framework is bogged down by a lack of clear progression journeys for the learner and employer. Heavy duplication of administrative proccesses, such as registration and verification, also pose key challenges.
The new qualification will make use of new technologies to make its delivery more time and cost effective, reducing the margin for error while increasing profit margins for training providers.
Trevor Luker, managing director of Pearson Work Based Learning, said: “It’s clear that there’s real appetite in the UK for a different approach to work-based learning. With the launch of this new product, we have raised the bar in terms of delivery, assessment, teaching and learning.
“For individuals, better skills and economically valuable qualifications like BTEC Apprenticeships will ultimately mean achieving better jobs, career progression and a higher income to support themselves and their families. For employers, a more highly skilled workforce leads to better productivity, competitiveness and profitability. And for communities, better skills can break the cycle of generations of low achievement and poverty of aspiration.”
The qualification is attracting wide-spread support from businesses and the education sector. Nearly 300 delegates from colleges, training providers and major employers attended its launch in London today.
Andy Palmer, head of skills at telecoms group BT, said: “The key to this new qualification is the huge amount of flexibility it gives to students and management staff alike. Rather than following the ‘one size fits all’ approach of previous Apprenticeship schemes, the BTEC Apprenticeship allows us to tailor each workshop to the students’ needs and the needs of our organisation.
“Added to this, it is very user-friendly. With so many of the facilities being online, students can progress at their own pace and we can track their development, ensuring they remain inspired and motivated.”
The BTEC Apprenticeship will be rolled out in FE colleges and training centres across the UK from September. It will initially be offered across 15 different sectors, ranging from retail to engineering.