The introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy has catapulted the role of the employer in further and higher education into the spotlight like never before. Employers are now integral to the development of new apprenticeship standards, to ensure that learners are equipped with work-ready knowledge and practical skills to meet the sector specific needs of the job they wish to enter.
Ofqual recently published their employer qualification perceptions survey with the aim of understanding what employers think about qualifications both when hiring new employees and when investing in training and upskilling staff. Conducted by Pye Tait, the survey asked over 2,000 employers in England for their views on vocational and technical qualifications and assessments.
Spanning all industry sectors, organisation sizes and geographic regions, the results show that there is a disparity between the attitudes and opinions towards qualifications (such as functional skills) from large employers compared to small and micro businesses. Larger employers appear to be more aware of the availability and benefits of these qualifications whereas smaller businesses aren’t as engaged. It’s clear that more needs to be done to communicate and work with smaller businesses to provide qualifications that suit the business needs of SMEs.
The survey also shows the significant difference in sector as to the awareness of qualification reform. For example, nearly twice as many employers from the transport and logistics sector were aware of the functional skills reform in comparison to those surveyed from the hospitality sector. This kind of information is crucial to Ofqual and Awarding Organisations (AOs) to dispel those areas of uncertainty through clear information regarding the reforms and new funding initiatives.
As an awarding organisation, it’s really important that our qualifications are fit for purpose and provide the skills and expertise that employers need within their workforces. When developing NCFE qualifications, we work collaboratively with employers to ensure our qualifications meet the needs of the industry. We not only develop qualifications, we also accredit in-house training for employers and provide consultancy for planning and delivering vocational learning, apprenticeships and functional skills for businesses who may have specific training needs.
This survey has cemented the importance of the sectors working together to close the skills gap and achieve a more integrated approach to learning and development in the future. Communication is key when navigating this ever changing landscape. With that in mind, we want to hear from you; local, national and international businesses.
If you’re seeking to upskill your existing workforce or want to future proof your recruitment of new talent, you can speak to one of our team on 0191 240 8833 or [email protected] about our existing qualifications.
If you’re looking for a bespoke package of learning that is unique to your business, speak to our Accreditation Services team on 0191 240 8888 or [email protected]