Apprenticeship Support & Knowledge (ASK) for Schools Update

GMLPF is delivering the ASK programme (Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge) this year in Halton, Liverpool, St Helens and Sefton. Jan Agger, who is working for GMLPF on this project, has been visiting schools in these areas to deliver activities which improve students’ and teachers’ understanding of Apprenticeships

At the end of Quarter 1 (August to November), GMLPF had engaged with 19 schools, of which 9 had not previously participated in the ASK programme. This suggests that schools are increasingly interested in understanding more about Apprenticeships.

 

Over 2000 school pupils have benefited

To date, GMLPF has delivered 31 information and activity sessions in schools to a total of 2229 students, 96 teachers and 122 parents. In addition, we have helped 364 individuals register onto the Find An Apprenticeship service portal.

Looking forward to 2019, GMLPF will be targeting schools who haven’t participated, showing their year 11 to 13 students how to register on the national Find An Apprenticeship website and apply for opportunities. We will be capitalising on the promotional opportunities presented by National Apprenticeship Week 2019 and forthcoming regional Skills Shows.  

 

Specialist schools

We will also be targeting specialist schools to ensure  their students have access to Apprenticeships information and support. This ties in with other work GMLPF is doing to address SEND issues.

New Schools Statutory Guidance on Careers Advice Spells Out Access for Providers

Following the publication of the Government’s Careers Strategy in December 2017, the DfE have this month issued revised statutory guidance for schools regarding their duties relating to independent careers guidance. Of particular relevance to GMLPF members is the new legal duty for schools to provide access to providers of technical education and Apprenticeships.

Key points from the Careers Strategy and Statutory Guidance (Careers Guidance And Access for Education and Training Providers) of relevance to GMLPF members are as follows:

  • Gatsby Benchmarks
    The Careers Strategy and Statutory Guidance recommends that secondary schools and academies should adopt the Gatsby Charitable Foundation’s Benchmarks to develop/improve careers provision.
  • Benchmark 7
    States that by age 16 “every pupil should have had a meaningful encounter with providers of the full range of learning opportunities…… including Apprenticeship providers.”
  • Apprenticeships
    The Statutory Guidance states that “every school must ensure that there is an opportunity for a range of education and training providers to access all pupils in year 8 to year 13 for the purpose of informing them about approved technical education qualifications or Apprenticeships.”
  • Policy Statement
    Every school MUST publish a “policy statement setting out their arrangements for provider access and ensure that it is followed”. Schools must publish this on their website. The Guidance provides an example of a policy statement on provider access and this features a named contact that providers should contact to request access to pupils.
  • No exceptions
    Schools MUST make provider visits available to ALL pupils, and “should not do anything which might limit the ability of pupils to attend”. Examples of unacceptable behaviours are given as “restricting invitations to selected groups of pupils”.
  • ASK programme
    It is suggested that schools make use of locally available support, such as the ASK programme, which GMLPF is contracted to deliver to schools with the support of members.
  • Labour Market Information
    It is advised that schools should ensure that all pupils have made use of information about career paths and labour market information to inform their decisions. Here, it is obvious that information and data about Liverpool City Region Growth Sectors and associated opportunities will be particularly useful for local schools.
  • Addressing individual pupil needs
    In relation to careers advice, schools are advised to ensure that “young people from all backgrounds, gender and diversity groups, including those with special education needs and disabilities consider the widest possible range of careers.” They should also take particular care to identify those pupils who are at risk of non-participation post 16 and draw support to ensure transition into further education or training. Here, GMLPF members who have historical success in supporting these sectors of the community have a strong offer to make to schools.

Building on our experience of delivering Apprenticeships information sessions in schools as part of the ASK programme, GMLPF will be considering the scope of contributing to a coordinated support service for schools to help them deliver duties relating to provision of information about Apprenticeships and other vocational options.  

In the meantime, we strongly recommend that GMLPF members hoping to build relations with schools:

  • Familiarise themselves thoroughly with the Careers Strategy, Statutory Guidance and Gatsby Benchmarks
  • Familiarise themselves with LCR Growth Sector information and opportunities
  • From now on, review policy statements on schools’ websites to identify named contacts to arrange visits to increase likelihood of “speaking to the right person”
  • Consider tailoring approach to schools based on their duties as outlined in the revised statutory guidance, showing how as an Apprenticeship/vocational training provider you can help them meet their obligations

We would be interested to know your views on the revised guidance, especially suggestions for a coordinated approach for supporting schools. Please email [email protected]

DfE Statutory Guidance and Access for Education and Training Providers Jan 2018 

 

5 Reasons to Book an Apprenticeships Information Session for your School

Reason 1: Schools have a statutory obligation to advise pupils on Apprenticeships

As stated in the DfE’s statutory guidance for schools (January 2018), “schools must secure independent guidance that includes information on the full range of education and training options, including apprenticeships and vocational pathways.”

To fulfil this, schools must keep informed about the features, benefits, availability and processes for enrolling on Traineeships, Apprenticeships and Higher Apprenticeships. This ensures that the advice they give pupils is correct, relevant and up-to-date – information can change regularly, particularly in relation to which Apprenticeships are available.

Through the government’s Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge for Schools (ASK) programme, GMLPF offers information sessions to Liverpool City Region schools, helping them meet statutory duties regarding the provision of impartial IAG, specifically in relation to Apprenticeships and Traineeships. These sessions are tailored for years 10 and 11.

GMLPF’s Apprenticeship experts will come to your school to deliver your choice from our portfolio of school support services. Pick from group assemblies; practical hands-on sessions to help pupils sign up to the national Find An Apprenticeship service; providing information at schools careers events; parent information sessions; Apprenticeship Champion training for careers advisers and teachers.

Reason 2: High quality advice to help pupils make informed career choices

Because it’s a Government programme, the information provided through GMLPF’s ASK sessions is always correct and up-to-date. The individuals who deliver the sessions in schools are fully trained Apprenticeships experts who attend regular updates to keep up with changing information. They are subject to external quality inspections, ensuring top quality advice is provided to pupils, parents and teachers.

The ASK team also have in-depth knowledge of the local Apprenticeships landscape – what the growth industries are in Liverpool City Region, and which sectors are likely to see an increase in availability of Apprenticeships and long term careers for school leavers. They are also able to advise on Higher Apprenticeships for university level study, how Apprenticeships are funded, and any impact signing up to an Apprenticeship can have on family benefits.

Reason 3: It’s free!

Yes, the service is absolutely free to Liverpool City Region schools. We’ll come along and speak to pupils, show them how to search for and get notified of Apprenticeships vacancies in their industries of interest. We’ll speak to parents, train Apprenticeship Champions, set up shop at careers evenings, and dispense official information booklets and leaflets – all free of charge.

Reason 4: Feedback from schools shows they find the sessions invaluable

GMLPF has already delivered its ASK services to many schools across Liverpool City Region. Feedback from schools has been extremely positive. It shows they have found the information sessions and our other Apprenticeships support services an ideal way to provide pupils with the latest information about Apprenticeships and Traineeships.

Schools have also told us that booking an ASK sessions is a good way of demonstrating to Ofsted inspectors that they are properly addressing their statutory obligations, accessing good quality Apprenticeships information, advice and guidance for their pupils, enabling them to make informed decisions about their future.

Reason 5: Easy to book

Booking one of our ASK services couldn’t be easier – just email [email protected] or call 0151 707 8775 and ask for the Schools Support Team.