NTfW Newsletter – March 2011
Welcome to our first newsletter which is aimed at keeping you up to date with progress on all operational aspects of the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW). It is appreciated by all that the network faces further transition during this current PS3 period and it is my hope that NTfW will continue to be an effective representative body of work based learning providers in Wales going forward. My role is to ensure that NTfW is here to represent ‘you’ the members and to manage NTfW operationally that is ‘fit for purpose’ in this ever changing environment that we all work in.
I hope you find the newsletter informative and interesting and each quarter we will aim to include information from across the network, region by region and of national importance. Please feel free to contact me with your comments on the newsletter and on any other matters as we aim to improve in everything we produce for our membership. I look forward to your continued working relationship and we are here to support you all.
NTfW, Operations Director
News from the Regions
Focus on Staff Development at Bluestone Resort
Collaboration with Coleg Llandrillo facilitates training progression
TSW Training creates opportunities for new careers
Young People Inspired Thanks To Careers Project
Developing the Leaders of Tomorrow – A Truly Collaborative Approach to Transformation and the Delivery of Vocational Qualifications
An exciting and ground breaking pilot programme is taking place within the Cardiff area, which is seeing collaborative working amongst WBL Providers, the local 14-19 Network, an HE Institution and an Awarding Organisation, to develop a Leadership and Management Programme based on the fundamental principles of the Credit and Qualifications Framework for Wales (CQFW) for a cohort of “more able and talented” learners at Years 10 and 11 and some post-16 learners.
Following the identification by the NTfW Transformation Team, that there was mis-understanding, and even a lack of understanding, amongst the school network about the principles of Vocational Qualifications (VQs), it was therefore agreed that both NTfW’s CQFW and Transformation Project could work together to provide a solution, in order to raise the schools’ network understanding of the fundamental principles of VQs, particularly their flexibility and value.
With this in mind, it was decided to run a pliot programme in the Cardiff area, with the aim of demonstrating the benefits to schools in undertaking VQs. A discussion was held with Cardiff 14-19 Network, about the scope of the project, and it was agreed that although the benefits offered by VQs reach across the whole school population, there was a clear need to introduce VQs “to the MAT pupils, in order to reach a wider audience”. This resulted in the identification of the need to develop a Leadership and Management Programme, specifically aimed at these pupils, which would enhance their personal abilities and add “additionality” to their academic studies.
NTfW facilitated discussions between WBL Providers, Cardiff Business School (inc. Leadership Management Wales) and the Institute of Leadership and Management, with a view that a programme of study was developed which would develop the learners understanding of the key leadership and management principles, as well as linking their learning to the “real” world of work, through work experience and placements.
The pilot is well underway, and has seen 56 learners from across the Cardiff area being selected to participate in the programme. The learners have been split into four groups based on the local school partnerships and assigned to one of four WBL Providers involved in the programme. As this is a pilot programme, four delivery models have been developed, based on the needs of the learners, but all models involve both a taught and practical element, and all will lead to recognised ILM “credit-based” units and/or qualifications.
Early indications are that the programmes being delivered have been well received by the learners, parents and their respective schools, which has been exemplified by a near 100% attendance rate. The WBL Providers involved are reporting excellent standards in the work being produced and the attitudes of the learners towards the programme. Additionally, through the work of the NTfW WBL Network Officers and Regional Advocates, interest has been shown across other Local Authority areas, and schools are eagerly awaiting a “roll out” of the programme.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that as this is a pilot no direct funding has been secured in order to effect the programmes delivery and that the WBL Providers involved are delivering their part of the programme “free gratis”. Without the vision and support of Acorn Learning Solutions, Barry College, ITEC Training Solutions and t2 Business Solutions and the extremely high levels of support shown by both Cardiff Business School and the Institute of Leadership and Management the vision of this pilot would not have turned into a reality. Throughout this pilot programme the WBL Sector has grasped the opportunity to “rise to the challenge” to produce a collaborative approach in order to meet (and exceed) a customer demand.
NTfW Transformation Project – Maximising the Effectiveness of the Work Based Learning Network
The NTfW Transformation Project is just coming to the end of the initial 15 month funding period. During these 15 months the Transformation Officers have worked across Wales to raise the profile of work based learning, NTfW as an organisation, NTfW members and the benefits of work based learning in a whole host of situations and for a variety of learners.
The Transformation Team have responded to the Cymru Ifanc Consultation and to questions raised by the Education and Learning Committee; written a paper for the Minister; complied 13 monthly reports (to date) for DCELLS internal use; and completed and published a 6 month report and will be submitting an end of project report in May.
The Team have endeavoured to secure representation for work based learning at all 14-19 networks and Learning Partnerships across Wales; created links for NTfW and its membership with the Higher Education Sector; Regional Learning Partnerships (both in the South West and Heads of the Valleys) and Skills Development networks. The Team are now progressing links with Sector Skills Councils, DWP programmes, Adult Learning Networks and senior officers in Welsh Assembly Departments where skills development through work based learning will help the Welsh Assembly to secure the highly skilled, highly motivated work force needed to deliver the vision of One Wales.
Pilot projects have been initiated including a Leadership and Management programme for 54 learners in one region; a carousel of practical skills for the most vulnerable and disaffected young people in one local authority area; an accredited Employability programme for all learners in years 10 and 11 in one local authority area; school based apprenticeships and additional work based learning pathways for learners in several local authority areas; practical skills training to support the delivery of BTec programmes for a cohort of learners in Health and Social Care.
Brian Dunlop, who led the Transformation Team for the first 12 months of the project, has decided to retire at the end of March and return to the quiet surroundings of Meyrick Training, we wish Brian the best of luck in the future and will miss his sense of humour, support and general presence tremendously. Good Luck Brian!
The Transformation Team have now submitted proposals to DCELLS for funding to support the continuation of the project for the next 2 years. Amongst other things the next chapter of the project will aim to –
- embed the work based leaning network fully in all the appropriate learning partnerships across Wales with NTfW members representing the whole network;
work to secure parity of esteem for all learners following vocational pathways;
- work with sector skills councils, providers and DCELLS to ensure progression pathways within vocational programmes are fully mapped and available to all learners and networks;
- work with the HE sector to secure the development and delivery of higher level vocational programmes within the work based learning sector.
For further information on the Transformation Project please contact Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Exciting Developments in the Heads of the Valleys
University of the Heads of the Valleys Institute (UHOVI) is a collaborative initiative between University of Glamorgan, University of Newport, Ystrad Mynach College, Merthyr Tydfil College, Coleg Morgannwg and Coleg Gwent to increase engagement in higher level learning and attainment in the Heads of the Valleys. UHOVI (University of the Heads of the Valleys Initiative) Management Board have agreed that UHOVI will work formally and collaboratively with NTfW. This collaboration will enable NTfW members to deliver Level 4 work based courses and workplace aspects of Foundation Degrees to learners living or working in the Heads of the Valleys area utilising UHOVI funding.
The University of Newport Outreach project currently provides a small amount of work based learning in the community, mainly in leadership, management and IT. NTfW members will be offered UHOVI’s HEFCW (Higher Education Funding Council for Wales) credits to deliver courses in the workplace in occupational areas not already supported by UHOVI. The NTfW training provider network will also support UHOVI in the delivery of the work based elements of Foundation Degrees. This is a very exciting opportunity and will provide learners with a direct progression route from WBL into HE as well as having a real impact on WAG and UHOVI’s aim of increasing learner engagement and attainment in higher level learning in the Heads of the Valleys.
A meeting in May is currently being arranged, for interested NTFW members to meet with UHOVI and progress this idea
further. This date will be advertised through Moodle and the Regional Meeting networks. UHOVI have asked that Rachel Searle NTFW Regional Advocate acts as the conduit for communication regarding this. If you have any queries prior to the meeting, please contact email@example.com
Training and Apprenticeships – who delivers what and where
NTfW have compiled a ‘Spreadsheet Directory’ detailing current work based learning provision (eg.Traineeships, Apprenticeships etc.) in your local area.
The ‘Directory’ is sorted by Local Authority areas, detailing the training providers, their contact details and occupational areas that they specialise in. It also contains links to Estyn inspection reports, allowing you to access information on quality standards.
Please contact the provider directly for further information about the programmes that they deliver and support that they can offer.
This ‘Directory’ will be updated regularly, please bookmark this page to ensure you are accessing the latest version.
To discuss collaborative working opportunities across providers in local areas, contact NTfW Transformation Team
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any amendments or additions to the ‘Directory’.
NTfW Staff News
During recent weeks there have been several personnel changes for us here Brian Dunlop has decided to retire from NTfW on completing his contract with us at the end of March. Brian worked as Network Officer on the Transformation project and was lead officer for the initial 12 month period of the contract. I would like to convey my sincere personal thanks to Brian for his vast contribution and commitment to the work he has undertaken and on behalf of everyone at NTfW we would like to wish him our sincere best wishes for the future. I know we won’t be losing touch with him as he applies his knowledge and expertise to his next venture.
Two other Network Officers, namely Rachel Searle and Andrew Dodge have moved from those roles into a new project as Regional Provider Network Advocates for the South East and South respectively. This is as part of the successful Sector Priorities Fund tender made by NTfW. It is pleasing that we have maintained both Rachel and Andrew on these projects for and on behalf of the NTfW network.
The Transformation project continues to be delivered and overseen by Bridget Moseley, Clara Weekley has joined on a consultancy basis to support Bridget and maintain the relationships built by the Transformation Team. We are also hopeful that the project will continue following a recent submission of a proposal to DCELLS and we await its outcome.
The reorganisation has also seen Jeff Protheroe take on the role as NTfW Quality Manager. Jeff will lead on the quality delivery of the Basic Skills in the Workplace contract that NTfW secured and he will also oversee the quality development of internal NTfW matters.
The final newcomer to the team sees Emma Jenkins join us on a part time contract as Finance Officer. Emma will be known to many of you as she has literally moved ‘next door’ where she worked at both Colleges Wales and LLUK. I must also take this opportunity of thanking Karen Smith for her work in undertaking project management that has also seen the development of our new website and Moodle. I am sure you can all see the improvement in all of these as part of the services to our members.
Focus on Staff Development at Bluestone Resort
Pembrokeshire’s successful five star short break destination Bluestone National Park Resort is turning the spotlight on staff training and development.
The company, which employs 420 people in the heart of the Pembrokeshire National Park, near Narberth, plans to give employees across the business a chance to gain a new skill or qualification this year.
Leading the way is a group of four employees, which has just completed a Foundation Modern Apprenticeship in customer service with a National Vocational Qualification level two. The training programme was delivered by Cambrian Training Company’s Milford Haven office.
“Both the staff and the business are already reaping the benefits of the training,” said Mel Thomson, Bluestone’s training and development manager. “The four staff have improved their skills and confidence and gained a much better understanding of their important role within the company.
“Hopefully, they will progress to the Modern Apprenticeship. We are currently looking to introduce NVQ training in a co-ordinated way across business. We cover a huge range of skillsets at Bluestone, everything from security and maintenance to food and beverage and retail management
“As a major destination and key local employer, Bluestone’s priority is to ensure that staff skills are constantly updated to maintain five star standards all year round.”
Samantha Lawrence, Cambrian Training Company’s regional manager, said the company was delighted to be providing training services to Bluestone, a key employer and tourism business in South West Wales.
Bluestone National Park Resort welcomes guests all year round to its luxury timber lodges and stone cottages, which are set around a traditional Welsh village in stunning Pembrokeshire countryside.
Guests are able to explore the wider area as well as using the on-site Blue Lagoon Water Park, Well Spa, Adventure Centre and wide range of outdoor activities.
For further information contact Katy Davies at Cambrian Training Company on Tel: 01938 555893
Collaboration with Coleg Llandrillo facilitates training progression
Owain Gwyn Owen has just achieved his Foundation Apprenticeship in Food Manufacture Retail & Service Support Skills whilst working with his father in the family run business Owen G Owen & Son retail butchers based in Caernarfon, North Wales.
Keen to further his education and qualifications in his chosen career, Owain has now chosen to progress to complete an NVQ Level 3 in Food Manufacture.
Gwyn Jones, ADT Training Coordinator said “Owain has enjoyed completing his Foundation Apprenticeship and is very keen to complete his Level 3 – always keen to advance himself and better his qualifications, a credit to the business”.
The funding to allow Owain to complete his level 3 NVQ qualification has been provided by Coleg Llandrillo through a collaborative agreement with ADT. This demonstrates the benefit to learners and employers of training providers working together to facilitate learner progression and enhance choice.
For further information contact David Evans, Operations Director, ADT on Tel: 01286 677275 or Email: email@example.com
TSW Training creates opportunities for new careers so that everyone’s skills can be used!
A group of learners from the borough have been presented with certificates for their progress in training courses.
The TSW training courses help unemployed people to get back into work through qualifications and placements, and First Minister Carwyn Jones AM presented the group with the awards on Friday.
Jayne Williams, 29, from Bettws, studied an NVQ in Health and Social Care and will shortly begin a placement at Abergarw Manor care home.
She said: “I was made redundant by Bosch and didn’t want to be someone who sits around watching This Morning. That’s not me. Everyone needs routine – getting up, sorting the kids out, earning money, and that’s what this has done for me. It’s a reason to get out there and feel useful again.
“I like the people element, compared with working in a factory where it’s all machinery. Even if I decide this isn’t for me, it’s not wasting anyone’s time or money, and it’s a great way to get experience.”
Thomas Stone, 19, from Cowbridge, has been working four days a week at Tesco to gain experience and says it helped him gain basic skills.
He said: “It was good, as far as work experience goes. It costs money to get there, in travel costs.”
But half of the learners had been unable to complete their volunteer programmes as car parking and travel costs had proved too much.
Mr Jones said: “There are allowances available for this kind of thing and now I am aware of it, I will look into what I can do.”
Richard Hywood, TSW Recruitment and Progression Manager, said: “We had tremendous interest from employers before we even started, and we have had positive feedback from everyone involved.
“We’re currently interviewing for next year’s programme. People can visit JobCentre Plus for information.”
After hearing the valuable feedback from the learners Carywyn Jones said ““It was fantastic to visit TSW, and to listen first-hand to the unanimously positive experience of people on the programme. I was thoroughly impressed by TSW’s commitment to its students, not only teaching them valuable skills, but guaranteeing them employment upon the successful completion of their course.”
In addition to providing these valuable career paths, TSW Training offer a wide range of Professional Leadership & Development Training Programmes. We offer an Open Programme at Bridgend and can also deliver training in house for your organisation. For further information on how TSW Training can develop your organisation please call 01656 644300.
Young People Inspired Thanks To Careers Project
A group of uninspired young people from Barry and the Vale of Glamorgan have mapped out career paths thanks to a new project that aims to re-engage students with education and help reduce youth unemployment in the area.
The Get Set Project is run by Cardiff-based training provider the Military Preparation College in partnership with Careers Wales, Barry Training Services and ACT Training and is the first of its kind in the vale of Glamorgan. The six-week project works with young people between the ages of 16 and 18 that have special educational needs and have struggled with traditional learning environments.
The group of five young people came to the project from pupil referral units or having been expelled from school and as a result of lessons in time management, discipline, team building and anti-social behaviour on the project have identified training courses that will help them on the road to their new career paths, ranging from hairdressing to a prison officer.
Jordan Yeoman, 17, from Barry, attended the Get Set project and has since decided he would like to pursue a career in hairdressing and has enrolled on a course with ACT Training in Cardiff. Jordan said: “I left school last year and since then haven’t really done much with my life. I knew I wanted a career doing something hands-on as I’m not very good with paperwork and get bored easily. The project has helped me figure out what I want to do with my life and that when I put my mind to something I can really do it. I’m hoping one day to own my own barber shop.”
Assembly Member for the Vale of Glamorgan, Jane Hutt, attended the Get Set Project’s presentation day and was inspired by the young people she met. She said: “Everyone involved with the Get Set Project is extremely proud of what the group has achieved. My aim is to make sure all young people in Wales have access to the training courses and further education that will make a difference to their lives in order to help them make a valuable contribution to their own communities.”
Hannah Lovelock who runs the Get Set Project for the Military Preparation College, said: “Six weeks ago we had five young people that were completely disengaged and negative towards education. The turnaround in their attitudes and behaviour and the distance they have travelled during the course is remarkable.
“Youth unemployment is currently at a record high in Wales and we’re confident that the Get Set Project can make a real difference to those affected by the current economic climate in Barry and the surrounding areas. We’re hopeful that this pilot project will be recognised as a success by the partners involved and will be re-commissioned to help more young people in the area.”
For more information about the Get Set Project or the Military Preparation College please visit www.themilitaryprepcollege.co.uk or call 029 20488100.