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Jon Kennard


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News: Ofsted in praise of Semta


The Semta Apprenticeship Service has today been described by Ofsted Inspectors as being outstanding in meeting the needs of employers and providing outstanding value for money.

Employers valued the high level of skills that apprentices acquire and the high standard of recruitment, training and assessment services provided.
Ofsted, the agency responsible for inspecting providers of education and skills for learners, also praised the Semta Apprenticeship Service – a not-for-profit organisation - for increasing the number of women, those from ethnic minorities and disabled people it has supported in the workplace.
The report on the service's performance, published today, also highlights the high quality of support which the service provides to help young apprentices develop relevant vocational, personal and social skills giving them confidence to gain qualifications and progress in their careers.
Owned by Semta, the sector skills council for science, engineering and manufacturing technologies, the apprenticeship service last year managed the training of more than 500 learners, predominately aged 16 to 18. The overall success on the apprenticeship programmes was 88% compared to the national average of 77%.
The proportion of women apprentices helped by the service in the traditionally male dominated sector has risen to 6%, those from ethnic minority groups to 5% with the biggest improvement in supporting those with learning difficulties or disabilities – up from 2% to 13%.
Semta Apprenticeship Director Bill Twigg said: “This report is very encouraging as it shows we are achieving excellent results and meeting the needs of the employers and the learners. It is pleasing to have the service so highly rated and respected by those we work with but there is no room for complacency.
“Technical skills are scarce and are getting more difficult and expensive to hire with UK recruitment demand hitting 82,000 over the next five years.
“Apprenticeships are central to addressing these issues and now is the time for us to help firms of all sizes but in particular smaller companies shape their own future by hiring apprentices, this will also have a positive impact on the very high levels of youth unemployment.”
The Semta Apprenticeship Service offers a comprehensive range of support services to companies including recruitment, mentoring, access to quality training and access to funding support.
The Ofsted inspectors, who gave the service an overall rating of good, said: “The value for money of Semta’s provision is outstanding. A high proportion of learners complete their qualification.
“Employers make substantial contributions to the total cost of their training. The value to the national economy when they are fully trained is high.”

Author Profile Picture
Jon Kennard

Freelance writer

Read more from Jon Kennard

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