To compete and thrive on the world stage, the nation needs a high-skilled and adaptable workforce backed by training that delivers what employers need right across the board (@IFAteched).

The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (the Institute) is uniquely placed to deliver on that, given our success with harnessing the expertise of thousands of supportive employers to shape the new generation of fantastic apprenticeships and T Levels.

The Skills and Post-16 Education Bill, which is currently progressing through parliament, is a huge endorsement set to extend our influence right across technical education. It will allow us to unite the skills system and meet an even broader variety of skills needs.

The Institute’s new ‘Employer Centred – Future Facing’ strategic plan sets out our key priorities for making this happen through to 2024, which are:

  1. Delivering for employers: The Institute is unashamedly employer led because only they know what training is really needed to fill the nation’s skills gaps and support learners into long and successful careers. We will:
  • Implement forward-looking and employer-led strategic plans for each of our 15 occupational routes, covering the full spectrum of sectors and industries across the economy.
  • Review how all larger and smaller employers support our work, capitalising on digital solutions to streamline their involvement and maximise insights.
  • Create authoritative knowledge about future skills needs, for example supporting digital innovations and the drive to net zero carbon emissions.
  • Make it far easier for learners from all backgrounds to progress from entry right up to degree level training, supporting the economy’s broad skills needs.
  1. Building a more integrated skills system: We will create a single technical education system that drives up quality and meets the skills needs of all our nation’s employers and learners. We will:
  • Support the Skills & Post-16 Education Bill into law. If approved, this will grant new functions to the Institute, including approval of most post-16 qualifications. Everything will follow the same employer-defined training requirements set out in our occupational standards.
  • Chart all technical education onto the same occupational maps, which must be accessible and easy to use for employers, learners, careers advisors, awarding organisations, educators and others.
  • Ensure that apprenticeships and other technical qualifications are sufficiently adaptable to support the widest possible uptake and use, for instance to deliver regional and social agendas.
  1. Securing continuous improvement: The Institute is always prepared to listen and learn. We have shown that we can adapt and deliver quickly, through launching T Levels and providing over 130 flexibilities that supported apprenticeships through the COVID-19 pandemic. We will build from this by:
  • Introducing a long-term assurance model that supports the delivery of improved quality by all.
  • Delivering a directory of industry experts to secure the employers’ voice in the external quality assurance of assessments.
  • Promoting a continuous improvement philosophy and new approaches to ensure all our customers have good experiences with the Institute.

Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith CBE, chair of the Institute, said:

“To compete on the world stage, the nation needs an adaptable workforce that is trained and up-skilled with the full involvement of employers. This strategy shows how we will follow their lead to deliver world class training across the board, supporting people from all backgrounds to climb onto the careers ladder and make the most of their potential.”

Jennifer Coupland, chief executive of the Institute, said:

“I am delighted to present our strategic plan, which shows how we will deliver on the Skills for Jobs White Paper and Skills Bill. The Institute is ready and able to extend our employer-led approach right across technical education. We are always keen to work collaboratively with our partners and look forward to building on our successes with apprenticeships and T Levels, to create a fully integrated skills system that delivers fantastic results for everyone.”

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