The Further Education sector is currently experiencing unprecedented change. Recently, we have seen the introduction of the levy and implementation of Apprenticeship Standards, the move towards devolution with the Adult Education Budget, area reviews, and the publication of The Skills Plan.
Along with challenges, change also presents opportunities. Innovate Awarding has been collaborating with a number of organisations, and sharing knowledge and expertise in order to develop solutions that will help support our customers to grow their businesses and thrive in the shifting environment.
One such partnership has been with learndirect. Although the expansion of Advanced Learner Loans to learners aged 19+ presented an opportunity, learndirect needed to review their business model in response to the announcement that sub-contracting of Advanced Learner Loans will come to an end from August 2017.
Innovate Awarding introduced learndirect to PEARL; a ground breaking e-learning and assessment system developed to support the delivery of qualifications funded by Advanced Learner Loans.
More information about PEARL and e-learning can be found elsewhere on our website.
“Working with Innovate Awarding has been an exciting and productive partnership. We have had to respond quickly and positively to the market challenges created and Innovate Awarding has been able to support us in achieving our goals. We are now well placed to move forward with an exciting customer offer to learners looking for high level skills.”
~ James Bambridge, Commercial Development Manager, learndirect
learndirect is also currently developing an offer for partner organisations via an ‘affiliate service’. Full details are yet to be finalised, but it will give other providers looking to engage with learners who hope to access qualifications via Advanced Learner Loans the opportunity to work with learndirect in the future.
The partnership continues...
learndirect successfully launched its high levels skills offer of qualifications eligible for advanced learner loans in July 2016, and have recently recruited more staff to manage the intake of learners.
Now Innovate Awarding and learndirect are working together to engage with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), and to explore how PEARL could be used to host a series of high quality accredited online learning programmes that will meet the training needs of employees and local businesses.
Ashburton Cookery School
Having a good team of people that can work well together is a fundamental part of any successful business. That’s why we understand the value of setting aside time for team building, away from the office.
So, when deciding where to host our team building day, it seemed only right to make the short trip to Devon to undertake some patisserie making at one of our approved centres - Ashburton Cookery School.
Innovate Awarding has been working with Ashburton Cookery School since October 2014, and has developed a qualification for them in Professional Patisserie. We experienced part of this course as our introduction to the professional skills of the pastry chef and this gave us a fantastic opportunity to understand the student’s perspective and to experience the pressures of working in a kitchen.
Working individually throughout the day, although in workstations of three or four, we were given an array of delights to create from chocolate éclairs, profiteroles, crème patisserie, glazed fruit tarts and chocolate dipped honey madeleines. We even had the arduous task of working in teams to make our own lunch, an artichoke, olive and mascarpone tart – the pressure was really on.
The day was a great success, down to the vast knowledge imparted to us by our expert tutors Darrin and David.
The attention we all received meant that we, as novices, were able to create dishes that none of us thought possible.
We also came away with a new level of understanding and appreciation of the fast-paced catering industry.
Special thanks to all at Ashburton Cookery School for a fantastic day.
MIAS, the Mountain Bike Instructors’ Award Scheme, is a thriving organisation that offers a range of courses for prospective and current cycling Mountain Bike Leaders (MTB). It has been in operation since 1989 and, to date, has over 16,000 members with 35 providers of the scheme. Since teaming with Innovate Awarding, the two organisations have worked collaboratively to develop nationally recognised qualifications for mountain bike instructors.
These qualifications include:
- Level 2 Award in Assisting Mountain Bike Activity Leadership [601/0421/1]
- Level 3 Certificate in Mountain Bike Activity Leadership [601/5649/1]
- Level 3 Certificate in Cycle Maintenance [601/6714/2]
These qualifications enable learners to develop the leadership skills required to successfully run group mountain bike activity sessions. Units cover the skills required as a mountain bike activity leader, preparing for and leading sessions, maintaining safe practice and personal development for the mountain bike activity leader.
The qualifications are beneficial to a broad range of industries beyond the outdoor industry and activity centres. MIAS now deliver these qualifications to the military, emergency services and members of residential care homes alongside a host of schools and colleges.
Lance Chatfield of the Plymouth School Sports Partnership shares his experience of working with MIAS: “Martin has made the whole process of ensuring myself and one of my colleagues was suitably supported in gaining this qualification and we will continue to work with them for future courses.”
For training providers interested in delivering these qualifications, MIAS can offer plenty of support. Trainers receive a Resource Pack that includes a range of information such as lesson plans, PowerPoint presentations, activity plans, course guidelines and forms. They also offer fast-track packages, and can assist teachers in developing their practical skills.
Alongside their work in the UK, MIAS are also developing their scheme on the continent. This has been so successful that they have been adopted as the training provider of choice for mountain bike qualifications in several European countries including France, Germany and Belgium.
Innovate Awarding looks forward to continuing this relationship with MIAS as interest in mountain biking and demand for the qualifications continues to grow.
Interested in working with MIAS?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07721 628 114