Celebration for construction skills village team and apprentices

Staff and apprentices at Scarborough Construction Skills Village are celebrating a positive Ofsted monitoring report.

The main findings record “reasonable progress” in all three key sections for the learners and apprentices and considering the effects of covid on construction training.

“Leaders and managers have designed and implemented vocational programmes that meet the requirements of successful apprenticeship provision,” says the final monitoring report, just released. 

It adds: “Leaders and managers support social inclusion and successfully raise the aspirations of unemployed adults and young people who are not in education, employment or training. 

“They develop learners’ skills and instil in them positive workplace behaviours before matching them to apprenticeship opportunities with local employers.”

At the time of the visit last month, there were: 

6 learning plastering 

50 general construction apprentices

13 on carpentry and joinery courses

7 groundworkers on tuition

18 apprentices on bricklaying programmes

6 studying property maintenance

“Reasonable progress” was the finding in the main themes as summarised by Ofsted – on meeting the requirements of successful apprenticeship provision, high-quality training with positive outcomes for apprentices and on safeguarding.

Under the phased return of inspections from the heights of the covid impact, Ofsted is conducting ‘New Provider Monitoring Visits’. 

Its report defines reasonable progress as “actions that are already having a beneficial impact on learners, and that improvements are sustainable and based on the provider’s thorough quality assurance procedures”.

The Ofsted inspector said: “Tutors are suitably qualified and skilled for their roles. 

“They share their knowledge of the industry successfully so that apprentices learn new ways of doing things at work.”
The report added: “Tutors ensure that employers are fully involved in apprentices’ on and off-the-job training.”  

Work with employers to identify clearly and agree the knowledge, skills and behaviours that apprentices need to develop was also highlighted.

It says: “Leaders have appropriate governance arrangements in place to provide challenge
and scrutiny. 

“Board members have extensive experience in construction and in the field of employment and skills. They use their knowledge and experience well to ensure that the curriculum effectively meets local and regional needs.”

The report did, however, say that more action was needed “for a few apprentices” who were making slower progress in technical English and mathematics skills for examinations.

It also called for more constructive feedback by tutors on apprentices’ written work or in reviews – for more precise knowledge, skills and behaviours that apprentices need to develop.

There was praise though that “employers value the support that tutors provide to ensure apprentices develop the relevant knowledge, skills and behaviours” and that they learn how to use tools “proficiently and build brick walls correctly.

“Tutors plan learning activities effectively and adapt the curriculum in response to apprentices’ needs. On carpentry and joinery programmes, tutors set increasingly challenging activities as apprentices complete their work. As a result, apprentices increase their knowledge of mitred joints and develop their skills in creating them.”

The skills village was set up six years ago and recently added plumbing, heating, electrical and interior building courses to its wide range of construction training.

It is also introducing green construction techniques and methodologies.

Graham Ratcliffe, head of Northern Regeneration which runs the skills village at High Eastfield Farm, said: “We are extremely pleased. 

“It has been a challenging time for staff and our tutors, for our dedicated learners and apprentices and for our supportive construction and trades employers.

“To receive such an overall positive inspection is very welcome and highly encouraging, and we take on board any points where we can get better.

“I am proud of the learners and the tutors who have achieved such an outcome while learning skills that are so vital and in such short supply for the region.” Open days and tours takes place at the skills village on Thursday July 8 and Tuesday 24th August with hands-on taster sessions. Pre-booking is advised.