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Improving how you support and retain skills coaches

Recruitment in the UK is currently extremely tough. In service industries such as Skills and Employability, the reality of struggling to find and retain talent to deliver high-quality programmes can be crippling. In this article, we take a look at how some of the leading providers are tackling this skills coach shortage, and remind ourselves of some common, yet relevant, recruitment best practices.

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Guidance FAQs for Funding Rules 22/23

Ensuring Aptem genuinely helps our customers to maintain compliance is our highest priority. To that end, we have created some guidance FAQs questions that you can consider when implementing the funding rules, effective August 22. This will help to ensure you maintain compliance.

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‘What works’ for IT transformation in FE colleges: organisation, culture and integration

At Aptem, we have extensive experience of implementing digital transformation projects across the FE, university and independent learning provider apprenticeship and skills sectors. We work with sector experts in colleges to implement Aptem. Who better to try to bring together critical learning points about how to get it right?

Read our white paper to learn more.

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Change management hand shake

Overcoming resistance to change: implementing new technology

There are many types of change, and reasons for it, that a company might pursue. Technology has become one of the biggest drivers of change, as well as a significant aid to the change process. It can be both the cause for, and a way to smooth, a change project.

Read our white paper to learn more.

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Working under financial scrutiny

Under the financial spotlight – what you can do to drive efficiencies

Companies undergoing investment or buyout from Private Equity (PE) firms and Venture Capitalists (VC) face a high level of financial scrutiny. The spotlight is on them to drive efficiencies, reduce costs and improve operating margins. For independent training companies providing fixed-cost apprenticeship programmes, this means finding other ways to improve profitability.

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Green apprenticeships and sustainability in business

Sustainability and the rise of the green apprenticeship

Two million good-quality green jobs by 2030. Electricity to come from clean sources by 2035. Net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Sustainability commitments made by the UK are bold, as we all know they need to be, but what do these statistics, promises and pledges mean in practice for the skills and employability sector?

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Understanding the updated Apprenticeship Accountability Framework with David Lockhart-Hawkins

In May 2022, the Department for Education released the updated Apprenticeship Accountability Framework Technical Specification for 2021 to 2022. These included a new measure for minimum apprenticeship provider performance level, with overall all-age QAR of less than 60% meaning provision ‘needs improvement’, and a rate of less than 50% meaning provision is ‘at risk’. This session looked to address provider questions.

How to manage change effectively in your workplace with Henry Cohen

Research from McKinsey and Company shows 70% of all transformations fail and this figure is concerningly rising. Whilst change is a constant, successfully implementing change, whether this is a technology change or other organisational change, requires a good change management strategy. 

Henry Cohen, who has more than two decades of experience in managing large-scale, global business and technology change programmes, talks through the key factors behind an effective change management strategy and delivery.

How to manage employer engagement with Tony Allen and Ben Drain

Effectively managing employer engagement when delivering apprenticeships is the theme of our first thought-leadership webinar in 2022. Hosted by Tony Allen, an expert and consultant who offers his knowledge of the skills system and the government apprenticeship reform programme, and Ben Drain, Apprenticeships, Operations and Quality Director at Pareto Law, this webinar discussed best practices in employer engagement.

Developing a healthy compliance culture with David Lockhart-Hawkins

Is your approach to compliance creating an unhealthy working environment? Does the fear of error drive business behaviours? This webinar looks at how to create a healthy balance that is aware of risk but promotes transparency. Designed for leaders and managers, in addition to those who work in a compliance role, this webinar examines how they approach compliance in their organisation.

Plan for Jobs extension announced – what employability and training providers need to know

It has been 16 months since the Plan for Jobs scheme was launched to safeguard the economy. The intention of the scheme has been to support people back into employment and plug the skills gap in much needed industries, while helping people to build successful careers.

As we move into the new phase of the Plan for Jobs, our webinar delivered by Georgina Burton, Head of Implementation at Aptem, covered the progress made so far by the various employment and skills initiatives. What schemes have performed well and what employability and skills providers need to know about the newly announced extension for the Plan for Jobs scheme.

Learner Reviews webinar with Tony Allen

Tony Allen is an expert consultant who offers his knowledge of the skills system and the government’s apprenticeship reform programme, acquired through fourteen years in the Skills Funding Agency, to help training providers and employers. In this webinar he talked through Learner Reviews: The role of learner reviews in the apprenticeship journey; The benefits of effective learner reviews; Why learner reviews are important; What happens if you don’t get them right; 7 steps to effective learner reviews. Shaun Elliott, Product Director at Aptem, walked through Aptem’s review functionality.

Apprenticeship engagement and compliance with David Lockhart-Hawkins

If last visits or progress reviews are what you measure risk of retention by, you’re a little behind the times. This webinar was hosted by David Lockhart-Hawkins, Director & Strategic Consultant in Apprenticeship Compliance and Implementation. David looks at best practices in monitoring your apprentice engagements and practical strategies to reduce funding risks including looking at the compliance role of engagement data, rules around compliance, best practices in measuring apprentice engagement data and more.

Compliance Masterclass with Tony Allen: ESFA Audit requirements and how Aptem can help ensure compliance

This masterclass was hosted by Tony Allen, an expert consultant who offers his knowledge of the skills system and the government’s apprenticeship reform programme, acquired during fourteen years in the Skills Funding Agency. In this masterclass Tony focused on the ESFA Audit requirements across the following areas: Personal Learning Record; Enrolment, eligibility checks and planned hours; Compliance documents; Process automation; PLR Calculator. Tony was joined by Nick Hodder, Technical Consultant at Aptem, who explained how Aptem can support compliance requirements.

What role will behavioural sciences play in the post-pandemic employment recovery?

The Covid-19 crisis has disrupted employability, causing a rise in unemployment and redundancies that have taken a negative toll on the nation.
The future of employment is uncertain. There will be some sectors that remain non-viable even after the crisis is over and, for many, the jobs lost in this period will not return. Behavioural sciences may be able to provide us with the tools needed to chart a successful path to economic and social recovery.
Dr Darren Coppin, Founder and Head of Research considers the role behavioural sciences can, and should, play in the recovery of employability after the crisis.

Will the employability sector recover?

As a result of the coronavirus crisis, the employability sector has been severely affected. The UK has suffered from rising unemployment, mass redundancies, and the decimation of many industries. As we look forward to the lifting of restrictions and begin to chart out the pathway to economic and social recovery, it is clear that there is a of work to be done to ensure the recovery of the employability sector. Tony Wilson, Director at Institute for Employment Studies, discusses what employability recovery may look like post-Covid 19. He explores the government’s response to the employability challenge, the latest ONS statistics suggest about recovery and what viable industries will be available in this new landscape.

What is to be done about the UK’s skills deficit?

With the pandemic creating sectoral crises and Brexit affecting skilled labour migration, the UK’s skills deficit and misalignment needs urgent attention. With presentations by Dr Fiona Aldridge, Director for Policy and Research at the Learning and Work Institute and Dr Deborah Talbot, Employment and Education Editor at Aptem, this webinar looked at just why skills are so essential to the economy and wellbeing, and what policies the UK needs to ensure economic competitiveness and a secure society.

The future of learning delivery is blended

Trends towards blended learning and use of remote technologies have accelerated over the pandemic. Driven by pragmatics but also users who reap flexibility and access for hard to reach groups (parents, those with disabilities etc.). Post-pandemic expect a move to more use of blended learning. In this webinar Aptem’s Head of eLearning, Steve Hargreaves, took a pedagogic look at what teaching might work best remotely and face-to-face, and visions for an ideal blended learning experience.

Creating a digital literacy culture and using technology to enhance learning

The appetite for digital solutions has increased exponentially and there is huge opportunity to use technology to enhance learning. In addition, Ofsted’s focus on improving digital literacy further prompts the need for digital transformation within the education and skills sector. Watch our webinar with Georgina Burton, Aptem Implementation Consultant, sharing her experience of developing digital literacy within organisations and building a digital culture that supports the use of technology within our sector.

Exploring alternative talent pools for recruiting employability professionals

Aptem has commissioned a piece of research in partnership with the IEP about the employability practitioner labour market, to help employability providers as they consider how they scale their workforce to meet growing demand.

Catch up on the presentation of this research, including a Q&A section at the end where employability providers who were able to attend the session raised some important points.

Changes, challenges and the role of digital in future employability programmes

Elizabeth Taylor from ERSA joined Tony Carr, 4Front Partners and Richard Alberg, Aptem, to discuss the changes, challenges and the role of digital in the future of employability and delivery of employability programmes.

Big data in education and training

Why is Big Data important in the education and training sector? How will it shape the sector and delivery models in the future? How can you extract insightful information that can guide your organisational strategy? Host, Mark Abrahams, Head of Research at Aptem, explores these questions and more.

State of the Art Tech for Employment programmes

Aptem’s CEO, Richard Alberg, presents a view of today’s employability challenges and demonstrates how technology platform Aptem Employ can help job seekers back into work quickly and for the long term.

A demonstration of Aptem’s Intelligence Dashboard for Universities

Aptem’s Richard Alberg and Mandy Crawford-Lee from UVAC held a webinar for Universities to discuss and demonstrate how they can use Aptem’s free Intelligence Dashboard to view market positions, identify opportunities and make data-driven strategic decisions.

Pandemic Challenges and Opportunities for Apprenticeships​

Watch our webinar with Aptem’s Chief Product Officer Mike Sims, Product Director Shaun Elliott and award-winning training provider Corndel’s Chief Operating Officer Mushall Khan, discussing today’s challenges and opportunities within the Apprenticeship marketplace.

Upcoming events and webinars

Learning at Work Institute – Employment & Skills Convention

September 13, 2022, Birmingham

Come and see us at the exhibition! 

HE Forum

October 11, 2022, Birmingham

HE sector customers are invited to join the Aptem team, HE peers and guest speakers for an in-person event. Please look out for an email invitation.

Association of Colleges (AoC) Annual Conference & Exhibition

November 15-16, 2022, Birmingham

We will once again be at the AoC event, demonstrating how Aptem is used by a growing number of colleges. Book here

UVAC National Conference

November 23, 2022, Manchester

Visit our Headline Sponsor stand at this flagship event for the HE sector. Book here

Compliance challenges with the 22/23 Apprenticeship funding rules

October 6, 2022, 11am - 12pm

Presented by compliance specialist, David Lockhart-Hawkins. ​​​Two months into the funding year, this session will focus on some of the core challenges faced by providers in efficiently implementing the new 22/23 funding rules.
Register here.

The Employability Forecast

Welcome to the Employability Forecast, the Aptem Employ podcast.

In this series, we explore employability from every perspective, from jobseekers, to providers, from employers, to government. This is your insider resource into the employability sector.