Introducing the Apprenti-kit PLUS

The new Highfield Apprenti-kits are designed specifically to support the on-programme delivery of the new apprenticeship standards.

They are:

• mapped to the standards that they support
• available as an e-kit that is compatible with most e-portfolio systems
• broken down into manageable-sized modules that can be completed at the apprentice’s own pace
• used to evidence the knowledge, skills and behaviours required by the apprentice
• packed full of over 1,000 hours of our experience, expertise and knowledge
• ideal for tracking learners’ progress towards gateway and evidencing their readiness for end-point assessment

The new Apprenti-Kit Plus enhances the value and learning experience of an apprentice by including:

• a health and wellbeing book
• an end-point assessment support document
• a choice of 5 e-learning short courses
This enhanced bundle that truly benefits your apprentice is available for just £15.

Find out more here.

The New World of Apprenticeship Standards and the Puzzle of On-Programme Delivery

Apprenticeships have evolved. A shift away from the safe and well-known framework to the more flexible and holistic approach of standards offers employers, training providers and colleges a host of opportunities. However, the relative lack of structure also causes confusion, uncertainty and makes delivery a puzzle that must be solved.

Since the launch of the standards we have been asked so many questions that start with the word ‘how’. How do I start? How do I track progress? How do I prove my apprentices are ready for gateway? How do I know that my apprentices are progressing? How do I evidence my apprentices have the requisite knowledge, skills and behaviours required of the standard? How do I ensure my apprentices cover the 20% off-the-job training?

If you’re asking these same questions, please know that you are not alone.

The change to the standards is a whole new world when it comes to apprenticeships. It is a giant leap in the delivery model from frameworks to standards and the lack of detail can make planning the mandatory on-programme learning difficult. The lack of a clearly defined structure can leave training providers unsure how to structure their delivery. It can leave the apprentice feeling isolated and confused and means that the risk of the apprentice dropping off the programme is heightened.

Clearly there is a need for greater structure. There are ambitious targets of 3 million apprentices completing the standards by 2020. This number becomes increasingly unlikely as we all read stories of the dwindling numbers of new starters, and that many providers across all sectors are claiming it is taking longer for apprentices to reach gateway, and that the natural consequence of this is, of course, that apprentices’ motivation reduces while their frustrations go the opposite way. The risk of non-completion also rises.

When it comes to supporting our customers through on-programme delivery, the main way we can help is through our Apprenti-kits. The premise of our Apprenti-kit is that it provides a clear pathway from day one of the apprenticeship through to gateway, and that they are:  

  • mapped to the standards that they support
  • created by genuine industry experts with recent relevant experience
  • are available as an e-kit that is compatible with most e-portfolio systems
  • are broken down into manageable sized modules that can be completed at the apprentice’s own pace
  • evidence the knowledge, skills and behaviours required by the apprentice
  • contain over 1,000 hours of our experience, expertise and knowledge
  • track learners’ progress towards gateway and evidence their readiness for end-point assessment

We are committed to continuing to listen and respond to our customers’ needs, particularly around on-programme apprenticeship delivery and preparation for end-point assessment. Our ultimate aim is to contribute to the number of apprentices who successfully complete their apprenticeship, and to continue to provide leading work-based learning qualifications and training materials.

Speaking about Highfield Apprenti-kits, Jon Ansty, Head of Assessment, at Eastleigh College, said:

I have been working with Highfield for nearly three and a half years now. During this time our working relationship has flourished. When we started looking at the transition to standards, we met a few times to discuss the offer from Highfield around the Apprenti-kit for frameworks as well as standards.

The kits we use are for a range of areas, we use kits for the new standards in Hospitality Team Member and Hospitality Supervisor, Customer Service Practitioner as well as Adult Care Worker and Lead Adult Care Worker.

The quality of the kits has been recognised by our employers including HC3S where we have branded the Apprenti-kits with their logo. The kits are of a professional level and I am impressed by the support provided by both Highfield in facilitating further tweaks to personalise the kits for Eastleigh College as well as the employers.’

Find out how we can work with your organisation to deliver effective on-programme training by calling us on 0845 226 0350 or 01302 363 277 or emailing info@highfieldassessment.com.

Find out more about our Apprenti-kits with our latest video update

When it comes to apprenticeships, Highfield Qualifications has done the hard work so you don’t have to. Find out how we are supporting apprentice learners – and employers on the apprenticeship levy – with our Apprenti-kits video.

To find out how Highfield Assessment compares to its competitors for end-point assessment, please visit here.

Highfield approved for passenger transport EPA

End-point Assessment Updateend-point assessment - transport

Highfield has been working hard to make sure it has some of the most comprehensive coverage around for the new apprenticeship standards.

And we’re delighted to announce we’ve been approved to deliver end-point assessment (EPA) for the new Passenger Transport Driver – Bus, Coach, Rail Standards, adding this important sector to the many we’re already supporting on apprenticeships and the apprenticeship levy.

This means we’ll be able to offer passenger transport employers end-point assessment services and a full range of support to make the most of their potential levy payments.

Under the apprenticeship levy, larger employers pay into a central fund that must be used for apprenticeship training, while smaller employers will see 90 per cent of their costs covered by the government.

Highfield Qualifications is recognised as an end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and sits on the Register of End Point Assessment Organisations. It offers EPA services through its Highfield Assessment brand.

You can also contact Highfield at info@highfieldassessment.com or by calling 0845 2260350/01302 363277.

For information on one of our new Apprenti-kits that supports a new apprenticeship standard, simply visit here.

Take your apprentices further with Highfield’s Apprenti-kits

Are you looking for engaging, rewarding and focussed resources for your apprentices? Then check out the video below to learn more about our industry-leading Apprenti-kits. You can also go directly to the website at www.highfield.co.uk/products/format/highfieldkits/

Further updates are now available here.

Coming soon – Apprenticeship Standard (Level 2) Healthcare Support Worker kit

Apprenticeship Standard Updateapprenticeship standardA new Apprent-kit to help learners undertaking the new level 2 apprenticeship standard for healthcare support worker is being launched by Highfield Products

Developed to support learners through a number of different delivery models – whether that’s direct delivery, distance learning or blended learning – the Apprenticeship Standard (Level 2) Healthcare Support Worker comes complete with everything needed to help learners, employers and tutors throughout the apprenticeship journey. 

The comprehensive kit includes a welcome booklet that provides guidance on the new apprenticeship standards, thorough coverage of the required knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs), plus a wide range of sector-based activities to enhance learners’ understanding and achievement. 

Also included is an authoritative guide that aims to demystify end-point assessment, plus a textbook and workbook for each of the mandatory knowledge and skills modules, as well as for the required behaviours. 

And to provide added flexibility and adaptability, the kit is available in an A4 ring binder or electronically as an e-kit delivered direct to your inbox. 

The Apprenticeship Standard (Level 2) Healthcare Support Worker is available for pre-order now. Just contact Highfield on either 0845 226 0350/01302 363277 or sales@highfield.co.uk.

For further information on how Highfield Assessment performs against its competitors, please visit here.

Help for healthcare employers on apprenticeship levy and assessment 

apprenticeship levyHealthcare employers looking to make the most of the new apprenticeship levy will have help on hand from one of the UK’s leading awarding organisations.

Highfield Qualifications has been approved by the government to provide end-point assessment (EPA) services for the new healthcare assistant practitioner, healthcare support worker and senior healthcare support worker standards – which are currently being introduced throughout the sector – and will be offering healthcare employers a full range of support services to make the most of their potential apprenticeship levy payments.

The changes are some of the biggest ever to training in the UK, and will see new apprenticeship standards use EPAs instead of continuous assessment, meaning individual apprentices will have their work and competence assessed towards the end of their learning against criteria established by healthcare employers.  

There has also been the introduction of the apprenticeship levy from May 2017, with larger employers paying into a central fund that must be used for apprenticeship training, while smaller employers will see 90 per cent of their costs covered by the government.

Chris Sprenger, Highfield MD, said, ‘With our recognition by the government as an apprentice assessment organisation (AAO), Highfield is in a position to provide specific assessment services for those organisations already taking on healthcare apprentices.

We can also offer consultancy and advice to any organisation still trying understand the changes and make the most of them –  whether they are looking to take on apprentices for the first time, wanting to have their existing in-house training recognised, or searching for services and resources to ensure they claim the full share of their funding entitlement’.

He added, ‘Apprenticeships are great for businesses and can provide a welcome boost to staff development and productivity when it is most needed, but it’s vital that organisations understand from day one how to make sure the changes are of benefit to them and their employees’. 

Highfield’s apprenticeship services are being offered through its Highfield Assessment brand. To see how Highfield Assessment stacks up to its competitors, simply visit here.

For more on the healthcare standards, go to the ‘Apprenticeship Qualifications’ section of www.highfieldassessment.com     

You can also contact Highfield at info@highfieldassessment.com or by calling 0845 2260350.

Regular social media updates are available at https://twitter.com/askhighfield and www.facebook.com/askhighfield

ENDS
Notes to editors:

  1. Highfield Qualifications has been approved by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) as an apprentice assessment organisation (AAO) for the provision of end-point assessment services for the healthcare assistant practitioner, healthcare support worker and senior healthcare support worker standards. Highfield’s apprenticeship services are delivered through its Highfield Assessment brand.
  2. Highfield Qualifications is one of the UK’s top five awarding organisations (AOs) and winner of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2016, offering over 250 qualifications covering a wide variety of industries including retail, health and social care, rail, food safety, security, catering and hospitality, and logistics.

Looking for your next work challenge?  

Apprenticeships are changing, which means a whole new world of opportunities for employers, learners, training providers….and possibly you.

Highfield Assessment, part of the Highfield Group, is one of the UK’s leading apprentice assessment organisations (AAO), and we’re looking to create a team of high-quality team independent assessors to deliver end-point assessment to our growing portfolio of clients.

In most cases you don’t need to have worked as an assessor before of hold a qualification*. We’re far more interested in your current work experience and relevant knowledge. Plus, we’ll provide you with the training and a government-recognised qualification.

What we’re really looking for is individuals who are leaders in their field but want to make more of their experience. Knowledgeable managers, supervisors and team leaders who want to give something back to their industry. Capable and authoritative professionals who know their sector like nobody else.

In other words, experts.  

As a consultant independent assessor or consultant lead independent quality assurer (IQA) with Highfield Assessment, you’ll be going into some of the biggest and most well known organisations in the country to evaluate and assess their apprentices.

Sectors we need your expertise in include:

  • Retail
  • Healthcare
  • Customer service
  • Logistics and supply chain*
  • Hospitality
  • LGV driving
  • Banking and finance

We’re a flexible employer so you can work as a full-time or part-time employee, or even on a self-employed basis. And you can be office based or home based (though you’re quite welcome to pop into head office for a cup of tea now and then).

So if this sounds like your next challenge, go to our careers section to read the job descriptions for each specific assessor role https://www.highfieldabc.com/about-join-the-team

And if we’re not working in your sector yet, don’t worry, we soon will be. You can still send us your CV for future reference. Just email recruitment@highfield.co.uk

*Some previous assessor experience/or a qualification required

Government confirm final funding proposals for Apprenticeship Levy

funding proposalsFunding Proposals

This week the government confirmed the introduction of the apprenticeship levy from April 2017.

The levy will be payable by all UK employers that have a wage bill of more than £3 million. Employers will have to pay 0.5% of their pay roll costs, and these payments will be collected by HMRC from April 2017.  Employers that are not eligible to pay the levy will continue to receive government support towards apprenticeship training and assessment.

Following an open consultation with employers and training providers, the government has confirmed the final funding proposals of how the apprenticeship levy will work. While much of the guidance reiterates points that were announced in August, adjustments have been made to ensure that the reforms benefit more employers, providers and apprentices.

Key features from the updated funding policy include:

  • employers and training providers who take on 16 to 18-year-olds or 19 to 24-year-olds, who were in care or who have an education, health and care plan, on an apprenticeship framework or standard, will receive a £1,000 payment from the government
  • employers will now have 24 months to spend the levy funds within their digital account before they expire, extended from the 18 months originally proposed
  • higher funding bands for STEM apprenticeship frameworks; this has increased by 40% for level 2 and 80% for level 3
  • non-levy paying employers will only have to contribute 10% to the cost of training and assessment, with the remaining 90% funded by the government
  • employers with fewer than 50 employees who do not pay the levy will receive full government funding if they take on apprentices who are 16 to 18 years old, 19 to 24-year-old care leavers, or 19 to 24 year olds with an education, health and care plan
  • a commitment to introduce the ability for employers to transfer funds within their digital account to other employers in their supply chain and sector by 2018
  • training providers will also receive an additional cash payment equivalent to 20% of the funding band maximum where they train 16 to 18-year-olds on apprenticeship frameworks
  • the 15 funding bands have now been confirmed, which range from £1, 500 to £27,000
  • additional funding support up to £600 for apprentices who live in disadvantaged areas to ensure that the opportunity to undertake an apprenticeship is open to everyone, regardless of where they live, their background or family circumstances
  • training providers will be able to claim a flat rate of £471 direct from the government if they deliver English or maths, so that all apprentices have a basic knowledge of each subject
  • training providers will be able to claim up to £150 of additional funding on behalf of apprentices who require extra support because of a learning or other disability

To read the government document in full, please visit here.

If you are still unsure about how the levy will impact your business, or still have unanswered questions, please contact a member of the Highfield Assessment team today on sales@highfieldassessment.com.

To find out how we stack up against our competitors for end-point assessment, simply visit here.

Government publishes new guidance on the apprenticeship levy

The government has released further guidance on the apprenticeship levy, providing a clearer understanding of how it will be funded, and the role employers and training providers will play.

From 6 April 2017, all UK employers that have an annual pay bill of over £3 million will be required to pay an apprenticeship levy to invest in apprenticeships. The funding will support people of all ages to gain high-quality skills and experience and help employers to offer more training opportunities and build a skilled workforce.

Here are the key points from the proposals today:

  • Employers that are too small to pay the levy will have to pay 10% of the training costs, with the remaining 90% paid by the government.
  • Employers with less than 50 employees will not have to pay towards the training costs of 16 to 18-year-old apprentices, which will be 100% met by the government.
  • Employers who take on a 16 to 18-year-old apprentice will receive an additional £1,000.
  • Employers and training providers who take on 16 to 18-year-olds or young care leavers with an education, health and care (EHC) plan will receive additional funding.
  • Employers will be able to use levy funds to retrain workers in new skills, even if they have prior qualifications.
  • Employers subject to the apprenticeship levy, who want to spend more on training than is in their digital account, will see 90% of their additional apprenticeship training costs funded by the government.
  • From April 2017, a register of training providers will be available to improve the link between training providers and employers. The proposed funding system will consist of 15 bands, each with an upper limit and which will range from £1,500 to £27,000. 50% of each apprenticeship programme must be delivered by a training provider.
  • Employers who are also training providers will be subject to Ofsted regulations.
  • Providers who have an Ofsted rating of grade 4 will be unable to provide apprenticeships.
  • Apprenticeship providers will no longer be rewarded with a double payment for each apprenticeship start.
  • The success payment (paid upon successful completion of an apprenticeship) will be replaced with a 20% completion payment, regardless of the final grade.
  • Apprenticeships will be available to everybody over the age of 16 at all levels.
  • Training providers who have apprentices enrolled on programmes that do not receive approval on the new register of apprentice assessment organisations will have their learners transferred to another provider. This is currently under consultation.

To help employers see how the levy and funding system would impact them, the government has also created a new online calculator.  This easy-to-use tool will allow employers to understand how much they will have to pay and how they could use their digital funds to pay for future training.

A consultation on the plans is now open, and will close on 5 September 2016. Employers and training providers are invited to have their say on the initial funding proposals to try to ensure that the final plans fully meet the needs of all those involved in the apprenticeship programme.

The final proposal on the apprenticeship levy is due to be confirmed in October 2016.