Looking forward to the year ahead
As we start afresh and look forward to the year ahead, it’s clear that there are lots of exciting and challenging times awaiting us in the world of further education and training. With change often comes trepidation, but we’re here to help guide our customers through reform and new ways of working to create the best possible experiences for learners, no matter which path they choose.
Our end-point assessment (EPA) service continues to grow from strength to strength and we’re starting to see employers, training providers and most importantly, apprentices, really getting to grips with how to succeed within the recently reformed approach to delivering and assessing apprenticeships. NCFE is approved by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to deliver EPA across 18 apprenticeship standards. This year, over 9,000 apprentices are expected to complete their EPA with NCFE, where we specialise in Health, Care, Education and Childcare, as well as offering areas such as Business Administration and Customer Service and Management.
We’re continuing our work in developing the new Education and Childcare T Level under our CACHE brand for which we were awarded the contract by the Department for Education (DfE) and the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) in February 2019. This qualification will form part of the first wave of T Levels alongside other pathways in the Construction and Digital Skills sectors. T Levels signify a big change in technical education as they will become one of the main choices for students post-16, alongside A Levels and Apprenticeships. Equivalent to 3 A Levels, the 2-year courses have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses to ensure the content prepares learners for the world of work and meets industry needs. They will offer learners a mixture of classroom learning and industry placement with the first 3 routes being delivered from September 2020.
The Functional Skills Reform has now come into effect following a decision made by the government in 2015 to reform Functional Skills qualifications in English and maths. The reform process has been undertaken to ensure that the qualifications better meet employer needs in terms of the knowledge and skills that learners achieve.
We’re still fully committed to creating a level playing field for English and maths and our #FullyFunctional campaign is gaining continuing support. We’re looking to the government to give English and maths alternative qualifications parity of esteem with GCSEs and change perceptions of technical alternatives across the sector and with employers.
A big issue facing the future jobs market is addressing the gap in tech and digital skills. The Fourth Industrial Revolution (or 4IR) is here to stay and is beginning to show how it will impact on our personal, learning and working lives.
We’re continuing to invest in new technology to aid and advance learning and are proud to launch the new Peer Tutor platform, a smartphone app which allows students to connect with peer tutors. We have also launched PregnancyVue, a VR app which takes the user inside the womb over the course of pregnancy, showing them the baby from conception through to birth. This technology can be used by many learners, including those taking childcare and healthcare, and even parents to be.
We’re thrilled to welcome Skills Forward to the NCFE family, one of the UK’s leading eLearning assessment solutions for Functional Skills and GCSEs. Their digital learning and development platform software is used by colleges, training providers and employers who want accurate visibility of learner progress across a variety of work-based learning programmes and to digitally capture evidence of a learner’s skills, knowledge and occupational competency.
It’s no secret that we’re facing change and challenge in the sector and country as a whole at the moment but we want to drive forward as an organisation and remain extremely committed to our core mission to promote and advance learning. We wish you a great year and look forward to hearing all of the fantastic stories of learner progression and achievement over the coming months.
Latest News from
Adapting to the new normal - supporting apprentices through COVID-1922/07/2020 11:15:00
COVID-19 has had a substantial impact on education in recent months.
Team Leader apprentice successfully completes end-point assessment with EPA Plus15/07/2020 14:33:00
Tony Rossiter has successfully completed end-point assessment for the Level 3 Team Leader/Supervisor apprenticeship standard.
Bold action from the Chancellor – but more is needed14/07/2020 09:15:00
Michael Lemin, Senior Policy Specialist at NCFE, unpacks the detail of the Chancellor’s economic statement, including the positive commitments made to youth employability and the questions that are, as yet, unanswered for the wider skills sector.
Revolutionary Forces discussion paper – top takeaways13/07/2020 09:20:00
In our recent discussion paper published in partnership with Campaign for Learning, a host of experts from across the FE, labour market economics, employment and mental health sectors explored the revolutionary forces facing the UK economy and what the Government needs to include in its post-16 white paper to ensure that as a sector, we’re prepared for the road ahead.
Adapting delivery methods following COVID-19 – what does the future hold?09/07/2020 09:15:00
Hear from Learning Curve Group as they take a look at the impact that COVID-19 has had on education and what this means for the future of the sector.
The FE sector needs the revolutionary post-16 white paper that has been promised now more than ever07/07/2020 15:43:00
A paper published yesterday by NCFE and our friends at Campaign for Learning is urging the Government to ensure that the plans outlined in the forthcoming post-16 white paper are sufficiently flexible to meet the immense changes facing the UK economy.
Adapting to the new normal - supporting learners01/07/2020 12:43:00
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a great deal of disruption to learning, the impact of which will be felt long into the next academic year and possibly beyond.
Adapting to the new normal - supporting staff01/07/2020 09:15:00
COVID-19 has had a substantial impact on education in recent months. While we may not understand the true extent of these changes on the future of the sector, it’s critical that we start forward planning, so you and your colleagues feel prepared and supported for what’s to come.
Vocational qualifications improve your learners’ employability skills29/06/2020 09:15:00
Ensuring young people leave their formal education ready for the workplace is a difficult task but one which providers have been challenged to deliver on as part of their careers education and commitment to employability skills.