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Ofsted praises Virgin Care’s apprenticeships

Ofsted has published a complimentary report following its first monitoring visit to The Learning Enterprise (TLE), Virgin Care’s training and development arm.

Jacqui Smart, TLE Operational Director, said, “I am delighted with Ofsted’s comments following the visit. The informal feedback from inspectors was quite remarkable and we were complimented on our overall apprenticeship set up.  They said it was a very solid performance and it was not easy to get such judgements.”

From October 2018 Ofsted, the regulatory body for organisations that provide education and skills training, has been carrying out monitoring visits to all newly directly funded providers of apprenticeships which have been funded since April 2017 by the Education and Skills Funding Agency or the apprenticeship levy.

Inspectors assessed the progress made to ensure TLE was meeting all the requirements of successful apprenticeship provisionandthat apprentices were benefitting from high-quality training leading to positive outcomes.

At the time of inspection TLE had 126 apprentices on one of five programmes for Team Leaders, Health Care Support Workers, Customer Service Practitioners, Business Administrators and Assistant Practitioners.

Ofsted’s findings included –

  • Leaders see apprenticeships as a vital addition to the broader training and education provided by TLE to ensure that staff develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours the business needs.
  • TLE managers ensure that apprenticeships are tailored to meet individual and business needs.
  • They carry out thorough recruitment procedures for new or existing employees to ensure that they are placed on the right programme.
  • Apprentices develop good practical skills and gain additional qualifications, such as a care certificate, which enhances their employability.
  • Inspectors found that apprentices interviewed during the monitoring visit were highly motivated, were enjoying their training and found the training to be very relevant to their job roles.

Jacqui concluded, “Ofsted can give one of three judgements – insufficient progress, reasonable progressand significant progress. We are delighted to have achieved a very solid ‘reasonable progress’ across the board on this first visit.”

About The Learning Enterprise

The Learning Enterprise is Virgin Care’s training and development arm, delivering quality & safety, leadership and other professional development courses as well as apprenticeships for colleagues working in Virgin Care’s NHS and social care services across England.  In 2016 TLE became just one of 22 organisations accredited with Skills for Health’s Quality Mark, with inspectors saying the service offered a flexible programme of learning, adding that The Learning Enterprise’s use of the Care Certificate in its programmes should be highlighted as national best practice.

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