From last month’s column in the South Wales Argus you will have seen that many businesses throughout the UK were highlighting the value of apprenticeships during National Apprenticeship Week*. Events took place all over the country for everyone to celebrate the achievements of apprentices and the commitment employers have shown to develop their staff.
This year’s campaign focused on how apprenticeships are all about rising to the top, and for me, getting the message across that apprenticeships can help people achieve their career goals, whether they are just starting their career or are company managers and directors, is vital.
There is currently a strong demand for management skills in Wales, and many businesses understand the influence well-trained and experienced managers can make to the productivity and success of their company.
Regardless of the industry, managers often feel the strain of ever changing environments, higher demands from customers and their team members, and growing expectations from their own managers / directors, yet they are still expected to stay positive and motivate their staff to deliver on company objectives.
In 2013, Acorn recognised the need for leadership and management training, and therefore partnered with Cardiff Metropolitan University to offer a complete Foundation Degree in Applied Professional Practice (FdA).
The first Foundation Degree to be franchised to an Independent Training Provider in Wales, delivered by Acorn in partnership with Cardiff Met’s Centre for Work Based Learning and the Cardiff School of Management, offers managers a work-based training programme to develop professional skills with modules covering organisational culture, management of people and accountability, to name just a few.
In November 2015, five managers in South Wales completed the Foundation Degree, and now, within the month that we all celebrated National Apprenticeship Week, Instructus Skills (formerly Skills CFA) recognised that this essential management training is a valuable knowledge element for the Higher Apprenticeship in Management, and has approved the Foundation Degree as part of the level 5 Management Higher Apprenticeship framework.
Instructus Skills is the pan-sector body responsible for recognising industry standards including Leadership and Management. I’m delighted that Instructus Skills has approved the Foundation Degree, ensuring that more people now have the opportunity to gain valuable skills in management as part of their work-based learning.
So it’s celebrations all round for those who recognise the importance of apprenticeships and in this particular case, those who want to develop their management skills, or directors who want to offer their managers a highly regarded qualification, as now that the Foundation Degree is part of the Apprenticeship Framework Level 5 a much higher proportion of learners will be able to complete this qualification via this option with funded delivery**.
Sarah John is Newport-based Acorn’s Learning & Development Commercial Director.
*National Apprenticeship Week took place from the 14th of March – 18th March 2016
**Subject to eligibility.