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Posted By WYLP on 15/01/2020

Key focus & thoughts for Training Organisations

Key focus & thoughts for Training Organisations

Preparing for change in the FE & Skills Sector – the thoughts and key focus from WYLP. 

Thoughts & focus for the Year Ahead….. 

Managing a regional provider network and being a consultant to the FE & Skills sector nationally it is clear there is much change taking place this year & beyond that many training organisations are not aware of or prepared for.  This is often no fault of the provider but based on the sheer level of change and development that is happening all at once – the fact that training organisations, colleges and charities can remain successful & sustainable in this market is a wonder and something you all should be extremely proud of.  It also shows the passion and commitment we have for the provision we deliver and learners and employers we support.  

This sector is not for the faint hearted, nor is it for those who are not committed to the cause, but there are changes that all organisations will be required to respond to and these changes will require internal reviews of processes, procedures, staffing, resources and delivery arrangements to ensure organisations remain successful & sustainable.

Ask yourself….

  • Why do we deliver the provision we do?
  • Why would an employer choose us over anyone else?
  • Do we recruit with integrity?
  • Do we work with committed, supportive employers?
  • Are we ready for the open market (Apprenticeships) or delivering devolved priorities (AEB)?
  • What is our unique selling or service point?
  • Can we evidence Good or Outstanding performance without relying on data or QAR?
  • Do we really ‘progress’ check or do we ‘time on programme’ check?
  • Do our programmes really lead to sustainable employment?
  • What value added do we provide our learners / employers / clients?
  • Do we have robust destination data that portrays our service achievements?
  • Why do we use the AO’s or EPAO’s we do?
  • Do we have a robust, longitudinal quality cycle?
  • What do our pastoral & personal development arrangements really look like?

These are just some of the questions training organisations will need to ask themselves (and be able to evidence).

So what do I think some of the key focuses for providers should be –

  • Prepare for Framework switch off
  • Clear understanding of Ofsted’s Curriculum I’s
  • Review & enhance quality improvement & recruitment arrangements
  • Implementing the Functional skills Reforms (qualifications & invigilation)
  • Levy Transfer
  • Funding band reviews & post-16 qualification review outcome
  • Preparation for open Apprenticeship market
  • Understand your USP / strengths and work on your areas for improvement
  • Review subcontracting arrangements

I have highlighted what I think the sector needs to ensure it is sustainable, can grow & develop and prepare for the future –

  • Innovation – Working smarter, improved embedding, utilising Ed Tech, think outside the box, engage with projects, research and sector support initiatives, enhance employer engagement activities & develop improved inclusion arrangements 


  • Collaboration – Share practice, form partnerships, join networks, joint development activities, match-making services, Buddy-up, engage with EPAO’s & AO’s, learn from each other and develop joint CPD opportunities 


  • Celebration—Showcase what’s working, promote the success, utilise social media, share helpful messages, use positive language with our outdoor voices 

WYLPs primary objective is working with providers & partners across the sector to ensure apprenticeships & skills provision is the best it can be.  We provide a wide range of support including quality improvement, audit compliance and assurance, external scrutiny and governance, leadership & management, curriculum development, mental health & LGBTQ awareness & support, Prevent & Safeguarding development plus a wide range of CPD opportunities.  

WYLP is a not for profit organisation, passionate about and committed to the development of apprenticeships & skills.  We therefore do not charge ridiculous consultancy fees and all income is put back into the business and the services we offer free of charge to schools, employers, communities and the wider sector.

WYLP is a board director of the Northern Skills Network and a member of the Northern Powerhouse Partners programme, and through the work we do with these organisations it demonstrates our dedication to developing a high quality skills system for training organisations, employers, young people and adults.  

If you would like to discuss the key focus article in more detail or to arrange a visit with one of the WYLP team, please do not hesitate to get in touch – , 01274 665454,

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