Provider input needed on design of new learning qualifications, urges AELP
Training providers should be involved in the design of the new higher level vocational qualifications, according to the Association of Employment and Learning Providers.
The calls follow the government announcement that ministers are going ahead with the introduction of new vocational qualifications at level three and above, which are designed to be the equivalent of A levels and included in the new-look 16 - to 19 performance tables from 2016. Exam boards will need to demonstrate their qualifications' quality by getting sign-up from employers or higher education institutions.
In its response to the government's consultation in May, AELP expressed concern about the proposals to involve local employers in qualification delivery, assessment and award. The response pointed out that the majority of the employers AELP members work with are SMEs who in the current harsh economic climate are entirely focused on sustaining and trying grow their businesses.
Most SMEs do not have the resources to deploy on contributing to the delivery of qualifications and playing a role in assessor teams. When engaging the services of a training provider, they expect the provider to work closely with them, listening to their needs but then carry out these functions on their behalf.
AELP chief executive Stewart Segal said: "We are in favour of rigorous and responsive vocational qualifications and they should lead to an apprenticeship or a job.
"Care should be taken over removal of existing qualifications and employers and providers need to be involved in the discussions on this process. The provider voice on the formation of new qualifications is also important because providers can articulate the frontline views of their SME employer customers."