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University of Derby Corporate

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  1. University of Derby Corporate (UDC) Rising to the Challenge: The dilemmas and debates of introducing High Impact Apprenticeships UVAC Conference 2012 University of Derby Corporate

  2. University of Derby Corporate UDC is the business-to-business arm of the University of Derby – with its own dedicated customer service and quality assurance infrastructure UDC provides innovative, bespoke, accredited work based learning solutions for large and small employers Since 2008, our client base has increased from 8 to 363; our work-based learners have risen from 187 to 3640 with 1202 of those from our collaborative partners Proven track record – considered one of the leading facilitators of HE work based learning in the UK Already supporting tutors and trainers in the workplace

  3. Building world-class skills through Higher Apprenticeships The national intent: • Cross-party consensus to increase the number of apprenticeships nationally • Recognition of the success of apprenticeships at L2 and L3 • Government aspiration to expand apprenticeships to 400,000 by 2020 • Intention to develop higher level apprenticeships, with SASE at L4 & L5 The current reality: • In 2010/11 academic year 457,200 people started apprenticeships • According to DBIS data (2012) of these starts only 2200 (0.48%) are at Level 4 • UVAC’s research (2010) suggest only 4% of Advanced Apprentices enter HE – although it could be much less • Government has provided £25m from the HA fund to support the recruitment of 19,000 HAs

  4. What is a Higher Apprenticeship? • Higher level skills in the work place • Part of the Apprenticeship family from level 2 to 5 (England only) • Work based framework for the employed which includes competence, knowledge, PLTS, ERR and functional skills • Increased from 5 approved HA frameworks to 25 with more being developed

  5. Dilemmas and debates – Higher Apprenticeships • Entry routes and requirements - can be confusing, depending on the sector, job role, employer and learner experience, with PLTS, ERR and Functional Skills all required • Terminology – ‘apprenticeships’ seems more accepted in some sectors than others • Parity with HE – confusion as to whether HA’s are to progress into HE and/or can be following a HE route – will a dual system work? • Sector fit – works well when aligned to specific core qualifications for the sector e.g. accountancy where a license to practice is required • Funding – who should pay for the training and development, the individual or employer? • Delivery – traditional apprentice frameworks segregate competence and knowledge, which does not fit a work-based learning ethos or delivery model

  6. High Impact Apprenticeships from UDC

  7. A key starting point…. The developing Higher Apprenticeship national agenda: “If there is to be step-change in appetite for and recognition of Higher Apprenticeships; work-based trainers involved in supporting the progression of apprentices must experience higher-level learning themselves. Only in this way will they fully develop the skills, expertise and knowledge needed to teach and train in the workplace at higher levels”.

  8. Defining the qualities and attributes of a WBL tutor • Very little research to draw from • No real professionalisation of the field • Array of qualifications at differing levels – not much at HE level in WBL • Needed to understand what existed and what was needed: • the qualities, skills, competencies and values required of those supporting learning in the workplace • the work based tutor qualification framework requirements - to develop a single qualifications framework for supporting the work based learning workforce • Needed to support the growth and development of understanding of work-based learning concepts

  9. The research approach • Literature review • Online consultation with work based learning workforce • Online consultation with learners • Semi structured interviews • Secondary data collection • Conference attendance

  10. Research findings – key job roles identified WBL job roles tend to fall into four functional groups:

  11. Research findings – core competencies • A number of core competences and characteristics were identified as being of importance to the WBL sector, across all four job roles identified. This generally aligned with much of the literature on the subject .

  12. Research findings – core attributes • A number of attributes were also identified as being of importance across the four job roles identified.

  13. Research findings – additional significant elements Additional elements emerging from the research, not yet highlighted by current research in the field, were also identified as being key for WBL practitioners: • currency and expert status of the technical occupational competence is critical • understanding the business environment in which the skills acquisition is taking place is vital, as well as the ROI that skills development brings • understanding the economics of the sector, in particular in relation to understanding how the workforce represent their employer and can be a valuable tool in developing new business

  14. Research findings – key challenges Key challenges for WBL practitioners working with learners at HE level 4 above were identified as: • time to enhance WBL expertise, skill, knowledge and techniques whilst balancing current work and job demands • the ability to be more critical and challenging in terms of what and how learners’ learn – HE levels require a higher level of critical analysis and thinking • the need for more complex judgements and assessment of learning – not just acquisition of learning, but also application and depth of understanding • the ability to cope with the demands of higher level learners who are themselves more demanding

  15. Our solution….. • BA(Hons) in Professional Development (Work Based Learning Practitioner) • Step-on and step off points (Cert HE, Foundation Degree, BA (Hons), plus smaller awards) • Comprehensive matching to competency and attribute areas identified to support skills development • Delivered through blended work based learning approach • CiPD accreditation being sought to ensure professionalism for the sector

  16. Level 6 360 credits Supporting work based learning Our solution….. Developing the learning organisation Technology enhanced learning Level 5 240 credits Sustaining personal performance excellence Enhanced career planning & development Supporting career development (Choice of module here for the Advanced Diploma) Quality management & enhancement of learning The organisational learning environment Advanced blended learning programmes in the workplace (Choice of module here for the Advanced Diploma) Work based investigation Integrated assessment methods Level 4 120 credits Understanding and using new learning technologies Developing self to achieve performance excellence Enhanced technical & professional skills Introducing assessment methods Facilitating & supporting learning at work Advanced work based enquiry Mentoring and guidance skills Personal Learning & Thinking Skills (PLTS) (Choice of module here for the Diploma) Fundamental technical & professional skills Understanding learning at work Developing & implementing contextualised blended learning Work based study University Diploma University Advanced Diploma University Certificate Cert HE BA (Hons) Degree Foundation Degree

  17. Further dilemmas and debates…. • Identifying learner cohorts – potentially for anyone working with apprentices and work-based learners to benefit from this award • The Higher Apprenticeship label – will a professional pathway in the L&D / WBL field be attractive to school leavers long term? • The delivery model – aiming to embrace, embed and deliver a WBL approach, still an issue with understanding WBL in the sector • Developing new HIA’s – employer and sector engagement vital, will this be prioritised? • Changing SASE regulations – goalposts keep moving, can HE keep up?

  18. Next steps… • Further research and dissemination of research – particularly around Higher Apprenticeships and WBL • Further development, enhancement and launch of new qualification • Professional accreditation • Recruitment of learners, testing and continual improvement • Review in light of new SASE regulations

  19. Questions and Discussion

  20. Thank you! Ann Minton Workforce Development Fellow University of Derby Corporate (UDC) 01332 597 805 Carol Steed Academic Development Manager – Higher Apprenticeships University of Derby Corporate (UDC) 01332 597 873