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Title: Learner, college and employer perspectives on participation in college-based programme-led apprenticeships : a glass half full or half empty?
Author: Murphy, Ilona
ISNI:       0000 0004 2736 0567
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2011
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What is a Programme-led Apprenticeship (PLA)? What do we know about how they are being delivered by Further Education (FE) colleges? Is it an Apprenticeship or is it a programme leading to an Apprenticeship? What do we know about the learners who participate in them and what do employers and colleges think of them? PLAs were announced in 2001 with the intention that learners would start in a college and work towards the technical certificate requirement of an Apprenticeship before moving into the workplace to complete the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ). By 2005, the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) confirmed 34,000 learners were on PLAs across FE colleges in England. These were learners on existing full-time vocational courses or stand-alone NVQs requested by the LSC to transfer to PLAs. Shortly after, the LSC confirmed it had met the Apprenticeship targets set by the Department for Education and Skills. Of the original 34,000 learners, less than 10% successfully completed the programme. Despite low completion rates no research was commissioned to determine why so few learners progressed to the NVQ. Instead, PLAs received ministerial approval in 2007. This study explores how PLAs are being implemented and what they mean to learners, employers and colleges. Qualitative research methods were used and included two rounds of interviews with learners five months apart. Interviews were also carried out with employers and college representatives. The research shows colleges are delivering PLAs in different ways. Too few learners move onto employed Apprenticeships and too many learners participate in tokenistic work placements that do not involve real training.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available