News Blog

Skills CFA

Removal of Apprenticeship Frameworks

Tuesday, 08 March 2016
By: Skills CFA

We have been contacted by several organisations concerned that the Business Administration level 3 framework is going to be switched off in line with the plans of SFA to remove frameworks that are either not required or have a suitable Trailblazer equivalent ready for delivery. We can confirm that the correct list can be found here and only affects Campaigning in the Business, Administration and Law Sector. This was a framework that we agreed to switch off due to zero activity. We have conducted both a National Occupational Standards and Framework consultation and from these results are planning activity for the coming year which we will keep you informed of.

Skills CFA

eBriefing December 2015

Thursday, 17 December 2015
By: Skills CFA

Welcome to our latest update newsletter. There is lots happening and so the team felt it was a good time to share some updates. Whether you are an awarding organisation, training provider, employer or just interested in us we hope you find this useful. Read more

Skills CFA

Instructus Acquire Springboard

Saturday, 12 December 2015
By: Skills CFA

The Instructus Charity is pleased to announce the acquisition of the assets and intellectual property of the Springboard Consultancy, with immediate effect. The Instructus Group is dedicated to creating the skills needed for large numbers of individuals to succeed whilst ensuring diversity of opportunity to develop through learning, particularly for those in challenging environments. Historically it has provided such opportunities through the creation of employer-backed national standards for generic skills, and the promotion of individual and business performance improvement via consultancy, award winning personal and team development and qualifications. It is also the certificating authority for all UK apprenticeships in generic skills with >300,000 approvals and actively promotes affordable access to the justice system for all.

The Springboard Consultancy has been the market leader for the personal and work development of women for 27 years, and has expanded to the extent that its programmes have been delivered in 43 countries whilst being used in the UK by 53 universities, as well as major corporations and public sector bodies. Springboard Consultancy programmes have been widened over the years to include men-only and mixed-gender applications providing affordable personal and work development for >250,000 individuals in some of the world’s most inhospitable environments. Springboard’s programmes have also facilitated the creation of many role models and a prime objective of Instructus is the expansion of these activities and achievements whilst providing a wider audience for its existing development activities.

Please direct all enquiries to David Holland CEO Instructus Group:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and on LinkedIn
+ 44 (0) 207 091 9620
+ 44 (0) 1271 850828

Skills CFA

CQM T&C Client Worldwide Fruit wins 2 Awards at Prestigious Event Celebrating the Best in Food Manufacturing

Tuesday, 24 November 2015
By: Skills CFA

CQM Training and Consultancy Apprentice wins Young Talent Award Second Year Running

Worldwide Fruit Youngster wins Oscar in manufacturing awards

CQM Training & Consultancy Ltd are delighted to announce that yet again, one of our young apprentices has won the prestigious and highly regarded Young Talent title at this year’s national awards ceremony celebrating the best talent in the industry.

CQM T&C have been delivering Lean/Continuous Improvement training on site at Lincolnshire based food firm Worldwide Fruit for several years, and now their shining star, Amber Wild has won the Young talent of the year award in the industry’s Oscars – the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards (FMEAs) – at the Lancaster hotel, London in a glittering award ceremony last night (Tuesday, November 3).

Amber’s achievements were recognised in front of hundreds of industry guests, as she collected the trophy from award sponsor B3 Jobs and the awards host and star TV presenter Mark Durden-Smith.

The Young talent award celebrates the achievement of one of the rising stars of food and drink manufacturing. Choosing the winner from a field of six very high calibre entrants proved an incredibly daunting task, according to the judges.

The FMEA awards’ independent judging panel – led by Paul Wilkinson, chair of National Skills Academy – praised 20-year old Amber’s powerful impact on the business she first joined as a part-time student.

Amber won the admiration of the judges for making a significant contribution in helping to update the firm’s labelling and printing operations. “Mislabelling is a key area of concern,” said one judge. “Amber has already achieved measurable success in a key area, where so many companies regularly get it wrong.” Another judge enthused: “This highly talented new starter will go anywhere and everywhere.”

Also shortlisted in this category were: Michael Andrew of meat processor Tulip, Alex Barton of meat business ABP UK, Seana Boyle of Willowbrook Foods, Jack Hamilton of Mash Direct, Caitlin Johnstone of The Welsh Pantry and Robert Williatt of Freshpack.

Best Chilled, Fresh and Dairy Manufacturer

It was a double honours success story for CQM T&C’s client, Worldwide Fruit who also won the Chilled, fresh and dairy manufacturing company of the year award.

The FMEA awards’ independent judging panel – led by Paul Wilkinson, chair of National Skills Academy – praised the firm’s capital investment programme, waste reduction plans and wide-ranging efficiency improvements. The firm’s continuous improvement culture – something that had dropped off recently for some firms the judges noted – was singled out for particular praise.

“The firm had grown the value of its sales over the past five years by 18%, after investing more than £3M on its production facilities and empowering its team to become drivers of progress within the business,” said the judges.

The business fought off stiff competition from fellow short-listed firms: Mash Direct, Samworth Brothers (Kettleby Foods) Willowbrook Foods, Wyke Farms and Yorvale.

Andy Cheshire, Managing Director of CQM Training & Consultancy Ltd commented, “We are delighted with Worldwide Fruit’s success this evening. They’ve outshone the competition in 2 categories and have proven that working with the right training provider, who can truly embed a sustainable CI culture, is intrinsic to ongoing success. Having trained the Young Talent winner for the second consecutive year further underlines CQM T&C’s ability to engage with, and train young people who will be the managers of the future.”

The annual FMEAs, organised by William Reed Business Media’s Food Manufacture Group, now in their 15th year, have become the premier event in the food and drink manufacturing calendar.                                 

Read the news on the CQM website                           

Skills CFA

Instructus Conference Cancellation and the Skills Agenda

Tuesday, 27 October 2015
By: Skills CFA

Instructus is disappointed to announce the cancellation of its proposed conference ‘Revolution in Business and Skills’ due to take place on November 25th due to a lack of employer interest. Instructus has for many years successfully held conferences for training providers, but on this occasion, due to the prevailing policy of a demand, i.e. employer- led skills agenda the focus changed. A number of role model employers representing the spectrum of industry were preparing to demonstrate in practical terms how investment in employee skills development had been good for their award winning businesses, both large and small. This was intended to provide a tool-kit for addressing respective skills gaps. Ironically a key element of the conference was to have been the unveiling of a survey of UK CEOs attitudes to skills shortages and employee development. The results were concerning with an overarching view expressed that skills development was somebody else’s problem, (over 80%) that is in those cases where a skills issue was even recognised as significant. This surely represents a disengagement from the prevailing skills agenda that needs to be addressed and it will be interesting to see the reaction of these same companies to the forthcoming training levy, or ‘apprenticeship tax’ as some have dubbed it, which is designed to ‘drive up quality by putting employers in the driving seat’.

At the same time that this conflict was being displayed the Ofsted Chief Inspector was targeting FE colleges as failing youngsters by equipping them with dubious qualifications of little economic relevance whilst further stating that the apprenticeship system is wasting public money. This seems to miss the point that current frameworks are being designed by employers and the new Standard system is based upon having more employer demand built into it than hitherto. Government funding policy is supporting this process and in terms of economic value those Apprenticeships with higher economic value will receive more funding. Clearly this is a further evidence of a disconnect being evidenced as employers’ attitudes again seem to be polarised.

Instructus also take issue with all vocational educational providers being tarred with the same brush although we recognise deficiencies and support the need for continuous improvement in all areas. We can clearly demonstrate significant employer engagement and success as a direct result of our own interventions which through delivering skills, develop people and drive business performance improvement. We have many case study examples of this with accompanying employer testimonials which don’t sound like failure to us!

Instructus is both a UK standard setting and QA authority with a significant training provision in its armoury. It has the largest footprint of occupations and range of industries through its specialisation in generic, (i.e. pan sector) skills. We currently have over 70,000 apprenticeships in progress all of which have been developed with significant employer support and we regularly update these along with associated qualifications in accordance with best practice. There is little evidence to the contrary within this portfolio although it is clear from recent public pronouncement that a wider spirit of co-operation is required for the benefits of skills policy aspiration to be more widely implanted in the vocational value chain.

David Holland
CEO Instructus Group