Training Providers Welcome Launch of Best Practice Guide

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The launch of a best practice handbook for the work based learning sector in Wales has been welcomed by the National Training Federation Wales as tool for continuous improvement.

‘What makes a good training provider?’ has been launched by Estyn, the education and training inspectorate for Wales, in conjunction with the Welsh Assembly Government’s Department for Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills and the NTfW.

The handbook draws upon a wealth of Estyn experience and evidence to provide guidance, recommendations and case studies showcasing good practice. Readers will have the opportunity to follow the learner’s journey, from recruitment to achievement and progression.

As a follow up, two conferences for work based learning providers across Wales are being organised next month to promote the handbook as a tool for continuous self-development and implementing the best practice.

Arwyn Watkins, NTfW chairman, will join Ann Keane, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education and Training in Wales and Professor David Hawker, director general of DCELLS, as the key speakers at the conferences, to be held at the SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff, on April 28 and at Venue Cymru, Llandudno, on April 30.

Mr Watkins said work based learning providers in Wales had themselves been on a learning journey over the past four years, as they had charted a successful course to improvements.

NTfW members deliver vocational skills to more than 60,000 individuals in Wales and the current success rate on apprenticeship programme is in excess of 70 per cent compared to 34 per cent in 2004-’05.

“We remain committed to continuous improvement within the federation and do not underestimate the challenges ahead with the Welsh Assembly Government’s transformation agenda, a new approach to securing the future of work based learning through tendering, at a time of economic uncertainty,” said M Watkins.

“We recognise that quality in our service is not what we put into it but what the learner gets out of it. For the public’s sake, we need to get the balance right and career advice and guidance must embrace apprenticeships as a pathway to success, financial reward and job satisfaction.”

Ann Keane, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education and Training in Wales said: “There are key elements that every work-based learning provider should establish for a good quality and standard of delivery. Rigorous self-assessment underpinning improvement, strong partnerships to foster learning opportunities and a bilingual learning environment are vital to raising standards to the next level.

“We want to encourage all work-based learning providers to use this handbook to benchmark the quality of their delivery.”

The NTfW has a membership of 90 quality assured training providers across Wales who are contracted by WAG to deliver £121 million of work based learning programmes from a total allocation of £127 million. The network comprises independent sector training providers, local authorities, further education institutions, charities and the voluntary sector.

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