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NOCN's guidance to the Institute for Apprenticeships

NOCN’s response to the Government’s consultation document entitled “Draft Strategic Guidance to the Institute for Apprenticeships” highlights a support for “the direction the Government is taking in reforming our skills systems”.

But that “the skills landscape is still extremely complex where there are lots of different types of organisations and regulatory bodies, as well as tens of thousands of qualifications and apprenticeship frameworks. This is very confusing to employers, employees, apprentices, learners, parents, guardians and stakeholders.”

Key recommendations from NOCN highlighted in the report include:

  • The Government should take the opportunity created by the Institute’s set up to simplify the skills landscape. It should, as part of this, have the courage to de-commission parts, under Government’s control, that are no longer required.
  • The Institute needs to work in a collaborative way, engaging with key groups and organisations such as employers, trade unions, apprentices, FE Colleges, independent training providers, learners, Office for Students, NUS, awarding organisations and apprenticeship assessment organisations, as well as regulatory organisations such as Ofsted and Ofqual.
  • Engagement and communication will be a key component to making this a success. The changes need to be staged over a realistic period of time; with the migration from the old frameworks and qualifications being carefully managed and communicated.
  • The Institute must reflect all the sectors it serves, and work in partnership to bring together industry and those in the skills sector to deliver mutual benefits. To achieve this, staffing of the Institute is critical. In our view it must recruit a broad range of individuals including people from different industry sectors, FE Colleges, independent training providers, assessment organisations and qualifications regulators.
  • There is also an urgent need for the Institute to introduce a robust regulatory framework over the next few months so that the drive to high standards and increased productivity is not completely undermined. There will be continuous technological change in our economy for the foreseeable future; meaning that our workforce will need to be constantly up-skilled. Lifelong learning will be an economic imperative.
  • The Institute must be a leader in modern learning and assessment methods, making appropriate use of technology. The remainder of this paper summarises the background and rationale behind our proposals.

Read the full paper ‘Achieving Quality, Equality and Mobility through the Institute of Apprenticeships and Technical Education’ along with the ‘Operational Plan for the Institute of Apprenticeships and Technical Education’