Building Pathways Project Modern Apprentices – Progression to Higher Education Judith Smith Project Co-ordinator
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Building Pathways Project Modern Apprentices – Progression to Higher Education Judith Smith Project Co-ordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
The Presentation The Building Pathways Project The research into Modern Apprentices progression to HE Future Action Plan
The Building Pathways The Partnership Aimhigher- P4P Action Plan Background to the Research to examine the current position with regard to the progression of MAs into HE and higher level skills and to make recommendation on how this route can be improved” Methodology
Key questions What do the MA Frameworks consist of? Are Modern Apprenticeships widely understood by FE and HE? Can the full MA framework be used to gain entry to HE level courses? Is there parity of esteem with more traditional entry routes into HE? What barriers are there to progressing to HE from an MA Framework? How can these barriers be overcome?
What are Modern Apprenticeships? The Advanced Modern Apprenticeship (AMA) consists of: an NVQ at level 3; a Technical Certificate (usually at level 3); Key Skills (usually Application of Number (AON), Communication and IT at level 2) and any other employer requirements.
General findings (1) The content of MA courses vary, raising questions of whether MAs prepare young people for HE in all cases; Where there is a historical tradition of apprentices within the sector it tends to make progression easier as qualifications are valued more highly e.g. engineering MAs are more valued in comparison to sectors such as IT where apprenticeships are less well understood;
General findings (2) HE providers appear to be more interested in the Technical Certificate than the NVQ element of the qualification as this taught learning part of the course is more similar to academic courses than the NVQ part; A lack of knowledge exists concerning which Technical Certificates are suitable for progression and which have shortcomings;
General findings (3) Technical Certificates need to be relevant to the HE route, old qualifications such as the BTEC National Certificate are more likely to be recognised as a means of progression than the new awards; Key Skills are seen as important due to the need for competence in maths and English within HE; A lack of understanding of Modern Apprenticeships exists amongst HE admissions staff;
General findings (4) There is a fear amongst employers that they may lose apprentices once they have completed a HE course, this leads to a lack of employer support; and Connexions expressed the need for more information on the realities of moving to HE from an AMA.
Recommendations (1) There is a need for increased awareness of the structure and content of Modern Apprenticeships; Closer liaison between FE, HE and sector representatives; A need for bridging units or short courses to ease access for Modern Apprentices into HE; Talk to employers about how keen they are to take on MAs who may progress into HE;
Recommendations (2) A lack of knowledge exists concerning Foundation Degrees. It is recommended that research is undertaken to discover whether these are an appropriate destination for MAs with aspirations to undertake higher level study. Would an approach which directs apprentices onto a Foundation Degree course rather than the traditional route lead to a two tier system? To avoid this efforts should be made to ensure that the Foundation Degree has the same value as the traditional degree;
Recommendations (3) The new arrangements for SSCs have been quite disruptive, therefore it is recommended that work with those sectors where the SSCs are in place would be easier (i.e. Engineering and IT); In S. Yorks work with institutions most likely to accept AMAs
Implementing the EKOS Report recommendations Establishing Clear Routes and Advocacy Identify existing progression routes for Advanced Modern Apprentices in Engineering, Construction and Care sectors Identify number of AMAs ready to progress and survey their understanding of progression opportunities Publicity and Promotion A campaign of publicising the successes of AMAs progressing to HE, to young people and parents at point when post-16 options being considered
Implementing the EKOS Report recommendations Promoting knowledge amongst HEIs Examine which technical certificates fall short of HEI requirement Involve SSCs/NTOs and HEIs in establishing how AMAs can gain access to HE Work with LSC to ensure HEIs aware of AMA frameworks
Implementing the EKOS Report recommendations BP activities Progression routes- report Removing barriers- Working groups Quantitative/qualitative research report Series of leaflets/ web-based materials Events for parents/students promoting progression routes 2 activity days for AMAs raising aspirations and IAG Links with SSCs, employers Dissemination event
Discussion What are the best ways of involving employers/training providers in the work How can we identify learners with potential to succeed in HE Should we be targeting other occupational sectors? e.g.s?, why? Do we need to develop ‘bridge’ programmes or wait to see what develops with the frameworks? – what is the role of SSCs in this and how can we work with them on this?