Innovation Code gives boost to learners, providers and employers

28 January 2015

The Innovation Code – which allows providers to develop a qualification while delivering the course – is increasing employer engagement in the skills system and helps providers be more responsive to the needs of both employers and learners.

The latest research – which has evaluated the introduction of the Innovation Code – shows that despite the low number of providers using the Innovation Code, it has been a catalyst for the development of new qualifications (that meet employer-need), partnerships and sub-contracting arrangements. These include new partnerships with Job Centre Plus and employers have created pre-employment courses that have enabled local unemployed adults to gain employment and achieve qualifications.

This research also identifies a number of key enablers for the effective use of the Innovation Code and the factors that can inhibit its uptake. Detailed case studies in the report illustrate how the Innovation Code has been used by colleges and independent training providers and how they have addressed the practical issues.

David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE, said:

“This report shows that, in its first year, the Innovation Code is helping people gain relevant and up to date skills for the labour market which will help to overcome the serious skills shortages hampering the prospects of sustainable economic growth.

“This success has been dependent on creative and bold organisations embracing the Innovation Code and using it to deliver better learning and better outcomes. So far providers have used the Code to deliver training to meet employers’ immediate and urgent skills needs; form training, learning and skills partnerships between employers, key stakeholders and providers; and identify the most appropriate area of learning for unemployed people, including those moving off the Work Programme.

“However, it is disappointing that the Code is not widely used and the need for an Awarding Organisation to be signed up to develop a qualification is problematic. I hope that this report is read carefully by policy makers and that the potential impact of the Code is recognised and that any tweaks needed to policy will be implemented.”