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Posted By Apprenticeships 4 England on 25/03/2018 in Apprenticeship Sector News Stories

Congratulations Waltham Forest College

Congratulations Waltham Forest College

This Provider is Good

At the time of the inspection, around 920 learners were involved in apprenticeship programmes. The significant majority of apprentices work via subcontracted arrangements, with a relatively small minority studying programmes provided directly by the college. Apprentices cover a broad range of work areas, mainly at intermediate and advanced levels, including health and social care, construction, manufacturing, business and hairdressing. Virtually all learners are taking apprenticeships based on the established frame works, with a very small proportion following programmes based on the new apprenticeship standards.

Apprentices make good progress and produce work of a high standard. For example, agroup of apprentices confidently and skilfully set up instruments and microphones for a Inspection report: Waltham Forest College, 6–9 February 2018 Page 11 of 16band performance. Apprentices work autonomously for much of the time, and receiveeffective assistance from their assessors and employers where required.

 Managers have implemented robust procedures for tracking apprentices’ progress, and take prompt action if they are not progressing as well as expected. Assessors check apprentices’ progress on a frequent basis, and plan suitable individual work programmes with each apprentice.

 Vocational specialist resources are good, and staff maintain strong partnerships with employers. For example, apprentices learning about railway construction have access to a short stretch of railway track and appropriate tools at the college, so they can develop their practical skills. Fashion learners benefit from access to a garment production factory.As a result, apprentices develop effective professional standards and practical skills. Managers ensure that the apprenticeship provision meets regional training needs well. For example, they have ensured that programmes are well matched to the local demand for training in construction, creative arts, health and social care and manufacturing. Teachers and assessors are experienced industry specialists. They are well-qualified, and regularly maintain their expertise through suitable continuous professional development activities. This training helps them contextualise apprentices’ learning well in relation to their chosen industries.

 Apprentices develop suitable literacy and numeracy skills, and most successfully complete their English and mathematics functional skills qualifications.

 Apprentices work well together and support each other, thus developing good team work skills. For example, brickwork apprentices, working independently of their tutors, helped each other to set plumb lines and prepare mortar. Apprentices develop their confidence and are able to speak clearly about their work, using appropriate vocational language. Apprentices feel safe at work and when they are learning; staff deal with any personal concerns from learners promptly and effectively. Apprentices also employ safe working practices whether at work, college or another learning environment. They use appropriate personal protective equipment.

 The majority of apprentices gain added benefit from relevant enrichment activities. For example, music apprentices have attended specialist masterclasses in the creative industries, and fashion apprentices have visited the Victoria and Albert Museum.

 Managers carefully review the performance and quality of provision delivered by subcontractors. They hold monthly meetings at which they carefully review apprentices’progress and consider the views of learners. Staff working with subcontractors have good access to the college’s programme of continuous professional development. This also creates good opportunities for sharing good practice between the partners and college staff.

 In a minority of reviews with apprentices, assessors set insufficiently stretching targets.While their comments are generally supportive, their comments are limited to task completion, and do not provide enough information for apprentices on how they might extend their personal or vocational skills further.

While staff make reference to equality and diversity, safeguarding, health and safety,‘Prevent’ and British values, in their reviews with apprentices, on occasion they do not go into enough detail to extend apprentices’ knowledge and understanding of these area ssufficiently. For example, a few apprentices were unclear about online safety.

 Apprentices at the college have good access to suitable careers guidance. However, many of the apprentices being trained by subcontractors have only limited access to careers guidance. For a minority of these apprentices, careers information is limited to signposting learners to websites.

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