Inspectors praise Skills Training UK in ‘Good’ Ofsted report

March 9th, 2017

Skills Training UK has been rated Grade 2 ‘Good’ by Ofsted in all sections of its Independent Learning Provider report, published on 8th March 2017. The report assessed several areas including the quality of Skills Training UK’s Apprenticeship and Traineeship programmes, the effectiveness of leadership and management, the quality of teaching and learning, and the overall outcomes of learners, all of which are graded Good.

Ofsted praised Skills Training UK for helping Apprenticeship and Traineeship learners to achieve good progress and positive outcomes for learners in areas of economic decline across London, the South East and the West Midlands. The Ofsted report states that ‘A significant majority of trainees progress into sustained employment, further training or an Apprenticeship, often from starting points that include low educational attainment, and low self-esteem and confidence’. Learners are also supported to work towards Functional Skills qualifications in English and maths, which most achieve on their first attempt.

On the effectiveness of leadership and management, Ofsted reports that Skills Training UK’s training programmes are carefully designed to meet the needs of Traineeship, Apprenticeship and Study Programme learners very well. Inspectors praised leaders for having a ‘very clear vision and ambition for the business’ and for ‘carefully considering the strategic direction of Skills Training UK and implementing plans effectively’. One example is Skills Training UK’s commitment to working with a range of hard-to-reach young people, for which the senior team has developed its traineeship programmes and ensures learners have access to several well-resourced training across the country. The report also praised how Skills Training UK promotes a ‘highly inclusive ethos’ with a culture of tolerance and respect for others.

The report highlighted that Skills Training UK’s partnerships with employers and organisations such as Jobcentre Plus are particularly strong. Learning programmes are developed to effectively meet the needs and priorities of local communities and businesses, such as the Fast Track Traineeship at Skills Training UK’s Academy for Business, Industry and Technology in Wolverhampton which helps young people to prepare for an Apprenticeship in the digital industries.

The quality of teaching and learning was commended in the report, stating that young people enjoy learning vital skills for employment and every-day life, and then applying their new skills in the workplace. Learners make at least expected progress and are well prepared for their next steps in learning and work. The report observed that tutors provide ‘highly effective support for individuals both inside and outside the classroom’, including one-to-one tuition and additional support for those who have learning difficulties such as dyslexia.

In personal development, behaviour and welfare, Ofsted reported that learners are ‘well prepared, are punctual and are highly motivated’. Learners demonstrated positive attitudes to learning, were respectful of their peers and were supported to become ‘more confident and articulate during their programmes’.

Skills Training UK’s Apprenticeships programmes were reported as Good with praise from employers for the ‘valuable contribution that apprentices make to their business’. Through frequent and comprehensive visits from trainer assessors, Ofsted reports that ‘Apprentices develop a range of work-related skills that meet industry standards very well.”

Skills Training UK’s Traineeship programmes were also praised, with Ofsted reporting that ‘Programmes are personalised and appropriately structured to meet the needs of trainees, many of whom have had disrupted education and come from disadvantaged backgrounds.’ The report also commended the high quality of Traineeship work placements in transport, warehousing, retail and business administration.

Martin Dunford OBE, Chief Executive of Skills Training UK, said: “We are thrilled to receive such a positive report from Ofsted and to achieve a Level 2 ‘Good’ in all areas. Our dedicated team continues to provide high quality, effective training programmes where we support young people from a variety of backgrounds onto positive destinations. It is great that this has been recognised with our Good Ofsted award.”

A short-notice inspection was carried on 14th-17th February 2017 by two of Her Majesty’s Inspectors and four additional inspectors at Skills Training UK’s training centres in London, the South East and the West Midlands. Inspectors used group and individual interviews, telephone calls and online questionnaires to gather the views of learners and employers, and observations were held on learning sessions, assessments and progress reviews.

The full Ofsted report is available here