Ofsted praise for flagship Merseyside programme boosts region’s training profile

One of Merseyside’s largest government-funded learning programmes for 16 to 18 year olds, Key To Apprenticeships, has been commended by Ofsted after a recent inspection. Ofsted praised the impact the programme, managed by Greater Merseyside Learning Providers Federation (GMLPF) is having on the young people of Merseyside.

Boost to Merseyside profile

GMLPF underwent Ofsted’s revised, more rigorous inspection format in April 2013, resulting in an overall Grade 2 “Good” rating for its Key To Apprenticeships programme, a great boost for the profile of vocational training provision on Merseyside.

GMLPF delivers its flagship Key To Apprenticeships programme for 16-18 year-olds through a network of 15 Merseyside training providers.  The short vocational course gives school leavers and other young people work experience, skills and qualifications, aiming to progress them onto full Apprenticeships.

High quality training

GMLPF’s programme is one of the largest contracts for any government-funded training programme for 16-18 year olds on Merseyside, supporting the achievements of over 1,500 young people since its inception in 2008. The overwhelmingly positive feedback outlined in the Ofsted report reflects the quality of the training on the programme. This is delivered by local, independent training organisations with strong track records in providing training and support, individually tailored to help young people achieve.

Praised in particular for outcomes for young people, Ofsted reported that:

“Learners make very good progress relative to their starting point, produce a good standard of work and achieve an impressive number and variety of qualifications and personal objectives within a relatively short time.“

“Learners significantly improve their confidence, self-esteem and communication skills.”

“The progression rate for learners… following completion of the programme is good. The proportion of learners who enter apprenticeship training is particularly high.”

Quality of teaching

On inspecting the teaching provided by the 15 training partners, Ofsted found that:

“Teaching, learning and assessment are good which is reflected in the high number of learners’ gaining vocational qualifications and improving their progression.”

“Learners benefit from the good tutor support and report how much they enjoy their learning.”

“Tutors have a good knowledge and experience of their vocational area and use very relevant industry specific learning tasks to help learners’ link theory to practical situations.”

Reporting on how GMLPF encourages partnership work, Ofsted commented on the use of

“…good partnership links to ensure the programmes offered are very relevant and meet learners and employers’ needs well.”

Praise from key local figures

Speaking about the success of Key To Apprenticeships, Labour MP for Liverpool Walton, Steve Rotheram, said:

“I congratulate GMLPF and its partners on this fantastic result. High quality training provision like the Key To Apprenticeships programme is vital to the future of our young people and the future of Merseyside. This Ofsted rating reflects very positively on the work carried out by GMLPF and its partners for the benefit of the whole region.”

Commenting on GMLPF’s role in the region, Liverpool City Councillor Nick Small said:

“I’m delighted GMLPF has been recognised as good by Ofsted and congratulate everyone involved for their hard work and commitment. I know what an asset GMLPF is for the city, helping young learners especially acquire the skills that employers want.”

Something Merseyside can be proud of

Commenting on the positive Ofsted results, GMLPF Chief Executive, Stan Pochron, said

“The challenging Ofsted process paints an important independent picture of our work and the quality of training provided by our Key To Apprenticeships partners. A “good” grading for such a significant programme is a massive achievement, something the whole of Merseyside can be proud of.”

Peter McEvoy from Asset Training said:

“We’re proud to be a Key To Apprenticeships training provider, delivering a programme which offers young people a proven route into Apprenticeships.  It’s great to have the programme’s strengths confirmed by Ofsted, including the quality of teaching delivered by independent learning providers and our partnership approach to supporting young people in Merseyside.”


The 15 training providers who are contracted by GMLPF to deliver the Key To Apprenticeships programme are: Aigburth Training Opportunities; Alder Training; Alt Valley Community Trust; Asset Training; Epoch Training; Mode; GP Strategies Ltd; North West Training College; North West Training Council; Progress Sports; Riverside Learning & Education Centre; Training Plus Merseyside (TPM); TTE Training Ltd; The Vocational College; Young Persons Opportunities Project.

Read the full Ofsted report

More on Key To Apprenticeships