Firstly, a big thank you to all who took the time to take part – ‘we value all voices’ and will listen and use this feedback to drive forward improvements in our service in a way that works for you. We received a huge response to the first Provider survey of the year which offers a helpful temperature check as we collectively adjust to our post-pandemic world.
There is a myriad of emergent changes in both the education and skills landscape coupled with climate change, engineering, and digital manufacturing to name but a few. The reality reflects an increasing sense of urgency to design and deliver qualifications and support services that are agile and fit for purpose. We understand how critical it is for both business sustainability and inclusion, enabling you to deliver on your promises to learners/apprentices, the industries, and the communities they serve.
In the last eighteen months, Covid-19 has certainly brought about changes in the way we learn, work, and interact safely. Therefore, we use provider surveys to help us to prioritise areas of product development and to drive improvement and business transformation in our service delivery. Your success is our success, driving up aspiration and achievement, making a tangible difference through purposeful satisfying careers underpinned by high-quality apprenticeships and qualifications.
Summary of key survey headlines
- Most apprenticeships being offered in 2021 22 electrical and mechanical, followed by machinist and mechatronics, product design and development, automotive and toolmaker.
- Only 51% of respondents expected apprenticeship starts in September 2021 to return to pre-Covid levels with over 30% effectively jury out. Overall, however, this may level out as the academic year progresses although overall some green shoots of optimism that starts are growing or at least reporting no adverse change (46%)
- Around 30% expected <20 starts with a further 27% expecting between 20-50 starts in 2021/22
- 51% agreed or strongly agreed that some significant catch up on learning would be required before reaching gatewaywith another 35% still no firm view at this stage
- 66% said the current EPA flexibilities would be critical to apprentice success
Upskilling/Reskilling of Centre Staff
- In the next 12 months, 62% said assessors would need some technical upskilling
- Technical upskilling priorities: net-zero/sustainability, digital manufacturing, robotics, project management and electrical as immediate priorities
- Educational upskilling priorities: apprenticeship/end-point assessment space – 62% preparing for end-point assessment; 55% assessor CPD; 30% preparation for examinations; 41% standardisation/moderation.
- New T levels: EAL are working to build new T levels in partnership with City and Guilds – Construction and the Built Environment was launched September 21 with a rising need ahead of September 2022. Get ready and get involved…..
Government, Levy, and Incentives:
- As a new sector Campaign for sector growth in manufacturing commences shortly, it is interesting to note responses indicated a sceptical, mixed picture around impact, for example, around information on the Government Scheme to pledge or bid for unspent levy funds starting September 2021. Here the majority had no firm view with an evenly split response between those who agree and those who were more ambivalent. This Government campaign will be most applicable for employers who have not used apprenticeships in recent years or at best infrequently engaged.
- Through this campaign Government hopes to break down some of the barriers that might stand in the way for employers when they are considering an apprenticeship, for example, understanding the benefits of apprenticeships, through to finding the right training, understanding the funding and incentives around recruiting an apprentice. Yet our survey shows there is must work to do to convince you and your employers with only 44% agreeing that they will help SME employers to bid for unspent levy funds. 51% are yet to be convinced. Furthermore, there is a significantly mixed perspective around incentives to recruit additional apprenticeship starts.
EAL digital – Coming Soon 2022:
- Strength Together – 79 respondents said they were willing to participate in a small pilot of the EAL digital platform – thank you – we will keep you informed about developments
- 72% stated they would be interested in using the EAL digital platform to access training and development
- 61% were confident that apprentices have the equipment and resources to access materials and interactive meetings online with 76% confident to use mobile apps to support learning
- 40% want more short online courses and resources to support the delivery of learning
EAL Communications – you said – we will:
- 60% favoured webinars – Our new EAL digital classroom will help centres to receive guidance and support, assessor, and standardisation training – all digitally badged for your personal CPD records.
- You confirmed the importance of the EAL website – we are working to revamp and upgrade our website to make it easier to navigate and find resources.
- 48% would like a blend of onsite and virtual meetings to mitigate post-Covid risk with some supporting some ‘surgeries. Interestingly, in our technologically diverse age, 9% looked to Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook, preferring a more personal approach – a characteristic strength of EAL and its support for customers.
Provider Survey 2 - coming March 2022
EAL need your response