From education to employment

Training Qualifications UK aims to boost the COVID bounce back through skills training

Manchester-based Awarding Organisation @TQ_UK partners with Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network as part of a strategic move to empower people to access learning and employability skills.

Training Qualifications UK (TQUK) is aiming to empower Greater Manchester’s businesses and workforce to cope with the impact of COVID-19 on the region’s economy.

As part of a range of strategic moves, the company has partnered with the Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network (GMLPN). Established in 2001, the GMLPN is a network of over 100 members including Independent Training Providers, FE Colleges, Community Voluntary Organisations, Universities and key suppliers, and other stakeholders.

They work alongside key partners and local authorities to achieve an ever-closer alignment between the needs of employers, individuals, communities and the suppliers of skills. They are actively engaged in a range of provider development activities which improve the effectiveness of the work and skills training system in Greater Manchester, and work closely with key stakeholders to achieve this and continue to lobby key issues on behalf of members and their employers.

TQUK has experienced huge growth since its formation in 2013 and is now one of the UK’s top Awarding and End-Point Assessment Organisations. From its base in Sale in Greater Manchester, the company works across the education sector to assess Apprentices and create a wide range of further education qualifications. Over the last year, it has issued more than 150,000 learners with certificates, both in this country and around the world.

The company’s partnership with the GMLPN allows it to share knowledge, identify best practice and understand key quality issues alongside other practitioners across the skills sector.

This means that it can better advise providers, as well as understand key trends within Greater Manchester, priority areas for Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and Mayor Andy Burnham’s overall plan for the region, and then subsequently develop qualifications that will meet those needs.

Anne Gornall, Executive Director at GMLPN said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with TQUK. This relationship will support our members to offer teaching and learning solutions that meet the needs of Greater Manchester employers and learners.”

Boosting employability during difficult times

It comes at a significant time for skills training in Greater Manchester. In 2019, the GMCA was granted an annual total of £92 million in Adult Education Budget (AEB) funds to help adults learn new skills and boost employability.  

With many thousands of people in the UK still furloughed and the current crisis posing the threat of a major recession and job losses, those funds are needed now more than ever. TQUK has therefore made it its goal to expand its reach still further and help even more people during this difficult time get the job of their dreams.

The company’s Managing Director, Andrew Walker, is excited at the prospect of helping enhance skills and shape the future of Greater Manchester’s workforce. “We’re Greater Manchester born and bred. We started in a two-up two-down house in Cadishead back in 2013 and have since grown to become a major player in the region’s push for greater skills development.

“COVID-19 has created problems around the country, but we’re a positive and proactive company that’s passionate about helping people in Greater Manchester transform their lives and get into the career of their dreams.

“As lockdown lifts and the country’s recovery begins, skills training will be more important than ever. Our partnering with the GMPLN allows us to be more proactive than ever in understanding the region’s needs and developing forward-thinking qualifications to meet them.

“We’ll all be facing challenges over the coming months, and we’re dedicated to helping people solve them.”

As well as becoming a commercial partner of the GMPLN, TQUK is now also a patron member of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), and during the lockdown has been developing its End-Point Assessment portfolio to include Apprenticeship Standards in key sectors such as child care, adult care and health care.


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