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New workplace scheme aims to boost ‘hit and miss’ training


A new scheme designed to raise the status of employer based training has officially been launched. Employer Based Training Accreditation (EBTA) is a new initiative that aims to provide organisations with the support and advice needed to raise the status of training. Academic experts in relevant fields will advise employers on workplace learning, and the awarding of ‘credits’ that can contribute to a university award and also lead to the development of a foundation degree, or other qualifications.

EBTA’s brief is to help support and improve the status of training to help organisations become more competitive, productive and profitable, while giving their employees renewed motivation and increased commitment.

Government figures show that huge cash sums are spent by employers on training that can be ‘hit-and-miss’ because there is no official recognition of the training, or any guarantee that it will be put into practice in the workplace, claims fdf, which is co-odinating the pilot project. Foundation Degree Forward (fdf) is supporting this project through a national advisory group chaired by Dr John Mumford OBE, former vice president for BP in the UK.

EBTA aims to operate by aligning employer training with university standards and brokering recognition between employers and universities. The programme is designed to be easily accessible and user-friendly, with a professional EBTA facilitator looking at employers’ current training activities to assess the content and level of learning. The facilitator will then discuss a university-linked system that involves awarding ‘credits’ in relation to this learning.

Bill Rammell, minister of state for lifelong learning, further and higher education commented:

"EBTA will encourage employers to recognise the importance of improving the skills of their workforce, and applies the rigorous standards of university learning to their in-house provision. This type of initiative supports the Government’s desire to see more employer-led and employer-influenced provision, which is crucial if we are to produce more people with the skills that business and the economy demand."

The scheme’s first pilots are already being developed, including accreditation of a new training scheme for legal cashiers that addresses a gap in existing accredited qualifications. The course was developed by Quill Pinpoint Accounting and accredited by the University of Chester. In the Northwest, a training course for those looking to work in digital media is undergoing accreditation by the University of Bolton.

Christine Pyke, media development professional for Northwest Vision and Media, is enthusiastic about the benefits for academics of involvement in a course where the theory is put into practice: “Trainees take away what they’ve learned and apply it straight away to their workplace, benefiting them in their personal development, and the employer who gains a more effective and knowledgeable worker. In this way, the scheme is effective and unique in the North West media industry,” she said.


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