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Skills CFA

Apprentice Success Story

Friday, 10 March 2017
By: Skills CFA

Award Winning Apprentice

In keeping with National Apprentice Week's (6-10th March 2017) theme of 'The Ladder of Opportunity', we are continuing our series of articles about our Apprentice success stories. Instructus is a group of companies comprised of Instructus (formerly Skills CFA), CQM Training and Consultancy Ltd, and Springboard Consultancy. CQM T&C is an award winning Training Provider that has a strong focus on sustainability and measured improvement. The following story is about their Apprentice Wojciech Kalinowski.

Wojciech Kalinowski took an Improve Efficiency Apprenticeship in Food Manufacturing Excellence. Finishing it at just 19 years old, he is the Trainee Relief Team Leader at Bradgate Bakery (they make the sandwiches for Tesco - so, as you can imagine, that's a pretty big organisation).

He started his apprenticeship in 2014 after choosing not to go to college. Applying for his Apprenticeship via CQM Training and Consultantcy Ltd, and successfully completing his stage 2 interview (where he impresses two of Bradgates' Managers), he was employed the same day! 18 months later and he is the youngest trainee team leader in the company history.

Woj said, "I'd never heard of Bradgate Bakery before applying for an apprenticeship, but once they showed an interest in me, told me about the opportunities they'd offer me and allowed me to have a look around, I knew it was where I wanted to be". He told us about the equipment he learned to use and the responsibility of learning to be a team leader and said "I wouldn’t be where I am now if I hadn't done the apprenticeship; it can take ten years to get to a team leader position and in 18 months I am now being trained, which I'm really proud of. I'm also really proud that I've been able to save the business about £500 a week by restructuring shifts and looking at how the company was using resources".

And his hard work and dedication has paid off in other ways too. At the end of last year, Woj landed the prestigious Young Talent of the year award in the food and drink manufacturing industry's Oscars - the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards. Truly a well deserved accolade. But we should not forget that CQM Training and Consultantcy Ltd has won this award for the third consecutive year, thus demonstrating the excellence of their training, and their focus and commitment to their apprentices.

And as a reminder that the Ladder of Opportunity is always 'up', Woj's next goal is to become the youngest manager in the company (and he clearly has the opportunity to beat the current record of 25 years old). We at Instructus wish him the best and hope that his story has done a little to inspire our readers.

Skills CFA

The Ladder of Opportunity: An Apprentice's Story

Monday, 06 March 2017
By: Skills CFA

It's National Apprentice Week (6-10th March 2017), and this year's theme is the 'Ladder of Opportunity'. We'd like to you to take a few moments to read the story (below) about of one of our Apprentices, Jah-Zena Ryan, that illustrates this theme.

We asked her to tell us what her Apprenticeship means to her and how it has and will help her occupationally in the future.

Jah-Zena started her Intermediate Business Support Apprenticeship with us in 2014. Instructus (formerlyl Skills CFA) has spent 20 years designing and developing Apprenticeships and qualifications and an aspect of Jah-Zena's role was to work within our 'group' and learn about what we do.

She recalled "During the 12 months of my apprenticeship I was able to learn a lot about apprenticeship frameworks, the requirements and the details of the qualifications". There was a lot of work to do but Jah-Zena met these challenges and within 3 months "my job title changed from Business Support Apprentice to Business Support Officer".

Following the completion of the intermediate apprenticeship, she then went on to start the advanced business administration apprenticeship. Jah-Zena told us "I am now currently nearing the end of my Apprenticeship and I have learnt a large amount about the Instructus Group".

We asked her how taking an Apprenticeship has and would help her in the future. She told us "I feel that by completing these apprenticeships I have been able to gain experience as well as obtain qualifications at a young age". Warming to the question she continued "I believe I will be able to use these accomplishments as a stepping stone into other job opportunities that may arise in the future. In my opinion apprenticeship have provided young people a great opportunity to “#EarnAndLearn” doing a job that they can genuinely enjoy".

We at Instructus are very proud of Jah-Zena's accomplishments and hope that her story can help inspire other young people to take up Apprenticeships, as they offer the opportunity of a bright future.

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Skills CFA

National Apprenticeship Week 2017

Thursday, 02 March 2017
By: Skills CFA

National Apprenticeship Week will be from 6-10th March 2017. Always an inspiring event, this year there will be a focus on how apprenticeships lead to (and are) a 'Ladder of Opportunity'. We will illustrate this by putting up an article focusing on one of Instructus Group's own apprentices later next week.

Apprenticeships are going through a major change at the moment, moving from Frameworks to Standards. Standards are designed by employer led 'Trailblazer' groups and provide an apprentice with the skills, knowledge and behaviour that their choice of occupational path truly needs.

Apprenticeships are vital to the UK, closing skills gaps and ensuring the country is as productive and economically viable as possible. So how are apprenticeships faring at the moment?

  • 2.4 million apprenticeships were started in England during the last Parliament
  • So far 624,000 apprenticeship starts have been reported since May 2015
  • The government invested £1,559,771 in apprenticeships during the 2014/15 academic year
  • Apprenticeship participation increased to 899,400 in the 2015/16 academic year, up 3.2 per cent on 2014/15 and the highest number on record

We will be tweeting more apprenticeship facts over the next week, so do please follow us on Twitter or visit and like us on Facebook.

Skills CFA

SASE FRAMEWORK Information: 4th Batch Withdrawal and Survey

Monday, 27 February 2017
By: Skills CFA

The SFA has recommended the following list of Frameworks for withdrawal (4th Batch). Please note: The last date for new starts on these frameworks is proposed as 31 March 2018.

Code Apprenticeship Framework name Levels included
620 Business and Professional Administration Full framework (Level 4)
406 Court, Tribunal and Prosecution Operations Level 2 only
488 Customer Service Full framework (Level 2,3)
580 Hospitality Management Full framework (Level 4)
574 Human Resource Management Full framework (Level 5)
487 Management Full framework (Level 2,3,4,5)
573 Project Management Full framework (Level 4)
594 Recruitment Full framework (Level 2,3,4)
485 Sales and Telesales Level 3 only

The SFA are currently asking for feedback on the above. If your organisation would like any of these frameworks to be kept in place after the planned withdrawal, please complete the consultation survey, ensuring your response covers:

  • Expected demand for the Framework
  • Employers that require this and why another framework isn’t suitable
  • What skills gap the withdrawal of this framework will create
  • Any additional information to help create the case for keeping the framework including whether you feel there isn’t a suitable Trailblazer standard available to use

The final list of Batch 4 withdrawals will be announced in May 2017, allowing approximately 9 months' notice in advance of the final date of withdrawal. However, the framework withdrawal date could be deferred if there is clear and strong evidence to suggest that:

  • Standards due to be in place by April 2018 will not cover some occupations covered by the framework’s pathway
  • There are reasons why the replacement Standard(s) cannot be ready for learners from April 2018

All Frameworks proposed for withdrawal have replacement Standards to cover the relevant occupations (or will be ready by 1st April 2018). The consultation survey will be open for feedback from Wednesday 22 February to Wednesday 5 April 2017.

A full list of frameworks included in this current proposal is available on GOV.UK.

For further information, refer to the Removal of apprenticeship frameworks page on GOV.UK or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Skills CFA

SummitSkills transfer of work

Monday, 13 February 2017
By: Skills CFA

As you are aware SummitSkills will be closing at the end of March this year. To ensure that critical activities you require in regard to Apprenticeship Frameworks continue beyond that point we have been working with FISSS to ensure that Apprenticeship Framework management and Apprenticeship Framework certification functions continue into the future.

The FISSS Board met last week and have decided to award this work to Instructus to take forward. They will be working with SummitSkills over the next few weeks to manage a smooth transition. Our aim is that you notice no change in the service we currently deliver and the existing service continues as normal.

Instructus will be in touch with you shortly to reassure you that the normal service will continue on the current basis .

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