New programme to improve Apprenticeships for learners and employers

7 April 2014

NIACE is encouraging organisations to bid for funding as part of the new Apprenticeship Staff Support Programme (ASSP) to improve the quality of the delivery of Apprenticeships. The prospectus and application form are available online.

Organisations can bid for Phase 1 of the new Apprenticeship Staff Support Programme, which is looking for innovative, high quality proposals to develop and deliver professional support programmes, resources and materials. Proposals must demonstrate that they can be accessed, and used, by the wider education and training workforce engaged with Apprenticeships, and that they will improve outcomes for both learners and employers.

Successful projects will focus on one or both of two priority areas:

1. Securing and further developing employer involvement in Apprenticeship delivery.

2. Further improving curriculum development, and teaching, learning and assessment on Apprenticeship programmes.

Lead bidders must be currently delivering Apprenticeships and bids are encouraged from both consortia and single organisations. It is intended that 8–24 bids will be awarded funding of up to £717,000 in the first phase, and where a project proves to be particularly successful, further consideration will be given to up-scale and roll-out the project as part of a Phase 2 programme later this year.

Fiona Aldridge, Head of Learning for Work at NIACE, said:

“The success of Apprenticeships over recent years, in helping people gain vital skills and experience to progress at work, is why NIACE is delighted to be involved in the delivery of the new Apprenticeship Staff Support Programme.

“Through the Support Programme, and our wider development work with BIS, NIACE looks forward to supporting providers to continue to improve the quality of Apprenticeships and maintain fair access for all learners.

“At this time of Apprenticeship reform, it is vital for learners, employers and providers that Apprenticeships remain well-placed to meet the needs of our changing economy, addressing skills shortages while giving people a solid foundation in what we hope will be productive and fulfilling careers. The Apprenticeship Staff Support Programme will help realise these ambitions.”

Bids must be submitted no later than 4pm, Friday 2 May 2014. Both the ASSP Prospectus and Application Form can be found online.

The £1.5m Apprenticeship Staff Support Programme, commissioned by The Education and Training Foundation, will be managed and run by the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), along with programme partners AoC, 157 Group, HOLEX, NIACE, and the British Chambers of Commerce.