Thu, 17 May 2018
THE National Apprenticeship Achievement Rate tables for 2016-17 were recently published and provided an opportunity to look at how West Berkshire is doing.
At a national level, the average achievement crept up from 67 per cent to 67.7 per cent and has languished in this territory for a number of years.
West Berkshire Training Consortium (WBTC) managing director Matt Garvey said: “My personal opinion is that the national average of 67.7 per cent is a disgrace.
“A large employer who pays the Apprenticeship Levy might consider enrolling 100 existing staff on apprenticeships as a way to maximise the funds in their levy account.
“Can you imagine their dismay if over 32 of those employees didn’t complete their apprenticeship programme?”
An apprenticeship is considered achieved when all the components of the programme are passed by the candidate.
On an engineering framework, those would include two BTEC qualifications, plus English and mathematics.
In the coming years, the achievement rates will be based on the new ‘standards’ which include a final all-encompassing end-point assessment.
The local picture when it comes to apprenticeship achievement rates is a little more rosy.
The national rates are broken down into area statistics and also by institution.
These figures paint a more positive picture of West Berkshire which is well served by its local providers, namely WBTC and Newbury College.
Furthermore, adjacent providers who work in the area also perform better.
Mr Garvey said: “I am delighted that WBTC is the leading local provider in our area when it comes to apprentice achievement rates.
“I think it is vitally important for employers and apprentices that they can feel confident in WBTC to get the apprenticeship programme completed.
“We’re around 15 per cent above the national average, putting clear blue water between us and many other colleges and providers.”
The average apprentice achievement rate in West Berkshire is actually very poor at 62.1 per cent.
This indicates that non-local national/regional providers are probably dragging down the achievement rate.
With most of the local providers performing at 74 per cent or better, it appears that private sector provision from outside the area is failing employers and learners when it comes to outcomes.
Mr Garvey said: “The message from these figures is loud and clear.
“If you want a good solid provider in West Berkshire then choose a local provider or college.”