November 2019

Pioneering partnership leads to "trailblazing" child-centred apprenticeship

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A national training provider has had the green light to launch a “trailblazing” apprenticeship thanks to a pioneering collaboration with experts from University College Birmingham’s School of Education, Health and Community.

With UCB’s input, TRN is able to include a Certificate of Higher Education (Cert HE) qualification into its new Children, Young People and Families Practitioner apprenticeship, making it a Level 4 qualification that closes a gap in this type of apprenticeship provision. Previously, learners could not progress past Level 3.

The apprenticeship is, ultimately, designed to upskill employees already working in Children and Young People services and for employers in the sector who can’t study at university full-time, but want to further their careers.

Once completed, learners can go on to do a Level 5 qualification, then an online Level 6 top-up qualification with UCB, increasing their potential.

Starting in three regions, the first cohort is set to start in January 2020.

Lee Walker from TRN, specialists in training in health and social care and childcare since 2002, said: “The Cert HE element of this trailblazing apprenticeship opens up the opportunity for apprentices to go into higher training and management positions that would otherwise not be possible.

“However, to incorporate this, we needed to partner up with a university and, because of the innovative work UCB is currently doing in this area, we deemed them to be the perfect partner to facilitate this. We have around 30 learners from the north east, 24 from the north west and another 24 from Yorkshire lined up to enrol on the programme, with the aim of rolling it out UK-wide.

“Ultimately our ethos is around changing lives and allowing learners to progress and open many doors for opportunities, as well as boost the economy.”

Aaron Bradbury, UCB’s Senior Curriculum Leader for Higher Education, Early Years and Education, will act as link tutor for the apprenticeship, providing off-site support, moderation and advice one day a week.

He said: “It is great to see the hard work of the group and the apprenticeship standard being offered to employers and apprentices within the sector of children, young people and families.

“It has been noted that, for a long time, we have not had a recognised qualification or standard which supports child and young person-centred practice, paving the way for a nationally recognised award which also celebrates the sector’s hard work and dedication.

“Writing the Certificate of Higher Education for this standard and having collaborative partners like TRN across England to take up the offer reflects the vision of UCB, providing access to higher education and widening participation. It has taken some time to get off the ground, but with dedication and drive from the sector, we are now ready to offer the exciting and much in demand qualification.”

TRN has already lined up two qualified tutors to teach the off-the-job element of the year-long programme, Samantha McArdle and Gillian Beattie, with recruitment of additional lecturers with the right qualification underway.

TRN’s vocationally-qualified Maria Armstrong will manage the programme to ensure consistency, which is vital if the course is delivered across different training centres in more than one region.

Modules included in the apprenticeship include:

  • Developing Academic Skills
  • Contemporary Social Issues within Family Systems
  • Building Relationships for Child Centred Practice
  • Developmental Needs of Children and Young People
  • Making Difficult Decisions
  • Mentoring in Practice
  • Multi Agency Working
  • Safeguarding Children and Young People
  • The Voice of the Child
  • Working with Systems and Policies for Person Centred Practice
  • Professional judgements when working with Children, Young People and Families

Find out more about the new Children, Young People and Families Practitioner Level 4 apprenticeship in conjunction with TRN.

Find out more about courses within the School of Education, Health and Community and UCB apprenticeships.

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