Assessor Training Course
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Assessor Training Course
 
     Career for the future?  
 

Why Assessing  is the career for the future?


There is a national shortage of qualified Assessors across all subject areas and therefore the job market is very buoyant. There are positions in further education colleges, Private Colleges, Universities, private training companies and recruitment companies.

Young people are also a high priority, with rising unemployment among people under 25, the present UK Government has pledged a increase in apprenticeship places over the next 10 years.

For those who are interested in background research to the Industry- It is summarised below with links to the relevant documents also available:

Background:

In 2004, Lord Leitch was tasked with considering the UK's long-term skills needs. His Final Report was published in December 2006 and concluded:"In the 21st century, our natural resource is our people - and their potential is both untapped and vast. Skills will unlock that potential. The prize for our country will be enormous - higher productivity, the creation of wealth and social justice.''

Wider context:
In his Executive Summary, Lord Leitch explains the importance of developing the nation's skills:

The global economy is changing rapidly with emerging economies such as India and China growing dramatically, altering UK competitiveness. The population is ageing, technological change and global migration flows are increasing. There is a direct correlation between skills, productivity and employment. Unless the UK can build on reforms to schools, colleges and universities and make its skills base one of its strengths, UK business will find it increasingly difficult to compete. As a result of low skills, the UK risks increasing inequality, deprivation and child poverty, and risks a generation cut off from labour market opportunity.

A compelling vision for the UK
The Review recommends that the UK becomes a world leader in skills by 2020. This means doubling the attainment at most levels.

Stretching objectives for 2010 include:
95% of adults achieve the basic skills of functional literacy and numeracy - an increase from levels of 85% literacy and 79% literacy in 2005;

exceeding 90% of adults qualified to at least Level 2 - an increase from 69% in 2005. A commitment to go further and achieve 95% as soon as possible;

shifting the balance of intermediate skills from Level 2 to Level 3. Improving the esteem, quantity and quality of intermediate skills. This means 1.9 million additional Level 3 attainments over the period and boosting the number of Apprentices to 500,000 a year;

exceeding 40% of adults qualified to Level 4 and above, up from 29% in 2005, with a commitment to continue progression.

The Wolf Review

Published in March 2011, The Wolf Report, commissioned by Education Secretary Michael Gove and carried out by Professor Alison Wolf, is an independent review of vocational education. Professor Wolf was asked to consider how vocational education for 14- to 19-year-olds can be improved in order to promote successful progression into the labour market and into higher level education and training routes. She was also asked to provide practical recommendations to help inform future policy direction in vocational education, taking into account current financial constraints.
 

Summary
In England, today, around two and a half million young people are aged 14 to 19. The vast majority are engaged in full or part time in education. Most English young people now take some vocational courses before they are 16; and post-16 the majority follow courses which are largely or entirely vocational.
Vocational education offers a direct route into higher education and prestigious apprenticeships. Conventional academic study encompasses only part of what the labour market values and demands: vocational education can offer different content, different skills, different forms of teaching and is therefore an important part of our educational provision.

But there are hundreds of thousands of vocational students not following courses which offer a successful pathway into employment or higher education. Among 16 to 19 year olds, the Review estimates that at least 350,000 get little to no benefit from the post-16 education system. Less than 50% of students have English and Maths GCSE (at Grades A* -C) by the end of Key Stage 4 (age 15/16); and at age 18 the figure is still below 50%. The funding and accountability systems established by government create incentives to steer 16+ students into what might be considered inferior alternative qualifications. The result is that many of England’s 14-19 year olds do not, at present, progress successfully into either secure employment or higher-level education and training nor have the skills to progress at a later date.
What we want to achieve

Vocational education for 14-19 year olds must serve the purpose of creating and maintaining opportunities for all young people. The Wolf Review makes a number of detailed recommendations to that end. Underlying them are three very clear organising principles for reform –
The system has no business tracking and steering 14 year olds, or 16 year olds, into programmes which are effectively dead-end.
Provide people with accurate and useful information, so that they can make decisions accordingly.

The system needs to be simplified dramatically; English vocational education is extraordinarily complex and opaque by European and international standards.

The wider environment
Today’s vocational education system must respond to five key labour market characteristics. First, full-time education or training to age 18 is now the dominant pattern. In England, virtually everyone stays on post-GCSE and the majority participate to age 18. This has led to the implosion of the youth labour market.  This change in the youth labour market is the second critical aspect of today’s labour market which vocational education must recognise. Thirdly apprenticeships and work experiences still offer a good alternative progression route, while many formal qualifications are not worth having at all. Fourth, good levels of English and Mathematics continue to be the most generally useful and valuable vocational skills on offer. Fifth, young people change jobs very frequently, within a labour market which is also in constant flux, so students need general skills.

The way forward
Institutions must focus on students’ demands and needs, not those of government agencies and the Government should focus on its key roles of monitoring and ensuring quality, and providing objective information, and withdraw from micro-management. To that end, the Review proposes some major changes:

Funding should be on a per student basis post-16 as well as pre-16, and institutions should be expected to offer and provide coherent programmes of study, within broad parameters, rather than being funded on the basis of individual qualifications.
Post-16, English and Mathematics should be a required component of study programmes for those without good GCSEs in these subjects.

There should be much greater freedom for awarding bodies to develop and for institutions to offer the vocational qualifications they prefer for 16-19 year old students. Regulation should move away from qualification accreditation towards awarding body oversight, and there should be no obligation for vocational qualifications for 16-19 year olds to be part of the Qualifications and Credit Framework.
Pre-16, it is critical that young people not be tracked in irreversible ways. Only those qualifications – both vocational and academic – that meet stringent quality criteria should form part of the performance management regime for schools. However, schools should also be free to offer whatever other qualifications they wish from regulated awarding bodies.

•    Performance measures should also reinforce the commitment to a common core of study at Key Stage 4, with vocational specialisation normally confined to 20% of a pupil’s timetable; and should remove incentives for schools to pile up large numbers of qualifications for ‘accountability’ reasons. The proposed changes to funding and accountability regimes should remove the incentives which currently encourage schools and colleges to steer young people into perhaps the easier options, rather than ones which will help them progress.

The Review suggests a number of other measures which should improve the quality and efficiency of provision:

•    Clarifying and activating the legal right of colleges to enrol students under 16 should increase 14-16 year olds’ access to high quality vocational provision.

•    The Review also recommends reforms in teacher qualification requirements and that QTLS (the FE equivalent of Qualified Teacher Status) should be recognised in schools.

•    It recommends that employers should be directly involved in quality assurance and assessment activities at local level

Efforts should be made to provide greater access to the workplace for 16-18 year olds. The Review therefore recommends subsidies to employers when they are involved in general education rather than specific skill training. It also recommends, as a matter of urgency, that more 16-19 year olds be given opportunities to spend substantial periods in the workplace, undertaking genuine workplace activities.

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