Aspire Development, a management training consultancy based in Halifax, West Yorkshire, has today announced the results of its first Ofsted inspection, following the launch of its dedicated bespoke Management Apprenticeship offering.
Having launched in 2017 following the introduction of the Government’s Apprenticeship Levy in May 2017, whereby companies with a wage bill of over £3million must contribute 0.5% of this figure to a dedicated people training fund, Aspire Development has achieved ‘Reasonable Progress’, according to Ofsted.
As part of the mandatory monitoring visit required for all newly directly funded providers of apprenticeship training, the inspectors found that the team at Aspire Development ensures apprentices benefit from high-quality training that leads to a positive outcome, while ensuring appropriate levels of safeguarding are in place, and that the company is successfully meeting all the requirements of apprenticeship provision.
Particularly, the inspectors noted that Leaders are highly responsive to employers’ needs. They work closely with senior leaders and managers of employers to design apprenticeship programmes that meet employers’ organisational development needs effectively. Leaders clarify with employers the principles and requirements of apprenticeship programmes. Employers are fully aware of their commitment to allow sufficient time away from work for apprentices to participate in off-the-job training.
Commenting on the findings of the report, Trevor Wheatly, Managing Director of Aspire Development, said: “When we first launched our Management Apprenticeships, we knew part of the process would be an Ofsted inspection, and so we set ourselves the target of achieving ‘Reasonable Progress’ come the publication of the first report.
“To say we’ve achieved this is fantastic news and testament to the whole team’s hard work and dedication to the clients we support. We’re delighted with the inspectors’ feedback and are excited to build on this in the coming years, while supporting even more apprentices to develop into exceptional managers, which in turn positively impacts the businesses and organisations where they work.”
In addition to the findings of its first Ofsted report, Aspire Development has also announced that over the past year since launching its Management Apprenticeship offering, seeing professionals undertake a work-based Level Three Management Apprenticeship, 100% of delegates have passed their End Point Assessment. Furthermore, 92% of apprentices undertaking this qualification under the guidance of Aspire Development have passed with a Merit, and of this figure, a further 69% have passed with a Distinction.
Mr Wheatly continued: “The figures speak for themselves and we couldn’t be prouder of all the apprentices we’ve supported so far. Part of the reason we enjoy such a high pass rate is because we put the learner first and at the very core of the whole programme. Each element is designed with them and their workplace in mind, so from the get-go they’re engaged and excited to up-skill while progressing on their apprenticeship journey.”
As part of Aspire Development’s approach to designing and delivering Level 3 Management Apprenticeships, the team works with its clients to identify real-life challenges in the workplace, that delegates then use as a project within the qualification, to meet the mandatory 20% off-the-job training required of the qualification criteria in a way that is both practical and pragmatic. It means that while the apprentice is receiving hands-on training, the business does not suffer in terms of reduced capacity with people being away from work or spending time in the classroom instead. Rather, the result is practical work based development that has real business benefits to the employer, while producing highly skilled managers that are an asset to the business.
Since the first cohort of apprentices completed their programme, Aspire Development has found that delegates’ skills have improved in areas such as leadership, customer service, relationship management and people management, which in turn have increased capacity and productivity at a team level, creating efficiencies and cost-savings at a business level, producing a significant impact for the organisations commissioning Aspire Development to up-skill their teams.
One such organisation is Wincanton, who commissioned Aspire Development to roll out its Management Apprenticeship programme in 2017. Nicola Bevan, Head of Training and Development at Wincanton, said: “We have worked with Aspire on numerous occasions, and the apprenticeship programmes deliver significant returns on investment for Wincanton. The key metrics speak for themselves, for example one particular programme saved £1million for the business, by applying the skills and strategies learned on the programme.
“What I really like is how Aspire’s programmes are real business drivers. The programmes add value to both individuals and the business, helping us all to up-skill. For many delegates, it’s opened a door to greater career opportunities. We’ve seen some colleagues progress into new roles and others develop within their current roles.
“The Management Apprenticeship programme designed and delivered by Aspire, which has been made possible by the Apprenticeship Levy, is well worth the investment. I’d encourage other businesses meeting the criteria to serious consider using the funds to up-skill their people.”
For more information about Aspire Development and its Management Apprenticeships, visit: https://www.aspiredevelopment.co.uk/apprenticeships.