Iain MacGregor, 58, from Perth in Scotland, is a shotgun coach with Sport Scotland and the only active ISSF A level qualified shotgun coach in Britain. Iain is responsible for training elite athletes - including some of those vying for spots at the Commonwealth Games - in Trap, Skeet and Double Trap shooting. However, he felt he could do with more experience with trap.
“I wanted to learn from the best, and that person is [former GB coach] Marcello Dradi from Italy,” Iain says. “He’s now responsible for training the national teams from India, Malaysia, Lebanon and Thailand.”
Fortunately, Iain heard about the Nancy Ovens Bursary. Sponsored by SkillsActive and named after the late Nancy Ovens, a former SPRITO board member, the bursary provides individuals with up to £2000 to improve their skills through an innovative training programme outside the scope of regular training.
Iain’s application for £600 was successful and in July 2011 he travelled to Bologna, Italy to shadow his idol for a week. There, he watched Marcello train Olympic shooters from the nations mentioned above, learned some of Marcello’s top trap secrets, and drafted a new trap training programme.
“As a coach, Marcello is much more aggressive than me and very focussed on technical details,” Iain says.
“He showed me how moving somebody’s feet a micron, correcting their posture, or bringing their gun back in their shoulder makes all the difference when you’re dealing with Olympic level shooters.”
Iain has no doubt the experience will benefit his learners – as well as his CV.
“Marcello gave me the confidence to work more closely with my students on smaller details that could affect the outcome of their trap shooting, as well as the importance of developing their focus so they can better predict the direction of their target.
“My learners are now benefitting from my time with Marcello and, if I keep improving my skills and helping elite athletes, hopefully I’ll be using his advice to train athletes as GB coach at the next Olympic Games!”
The same study into Scotland's Modern Apprentices also found that the MA programme is highly regarded by almost all of its participants with 98% describing their experiences positively and four out of five praising the support they get.
This large scale survey was carried out in November 2011 by SDS's Evaluation and Research team. The survey was designed to collect feedback from Modern Apprentices on their experiences of the MA programme and was completed by over 700 MAs who are currently in training.
Dr. Lynne Robson, from the Evaluation and Research team, explains: "This survey illustrates how our new research team can help colleagues within SDS. Working closely together, we can provide robust evidence on customer perceptions which can feed into SDS's desire for continuous improvement."
Katie Hutton, Head of National and Local Government Relationships comments: "This report is a key component of our continuous improvement process for National Training Programmes. It has given us valuable insight into the views and experiences of participants, and it is particularly encouraging, to all those involved in delivering this programme, that the vast majority of apprentices' views are so positive."
You can read the full report and analysis of results on the Skills Development Scotland website
It follows proposals from the UK government to replace the Adventures Activities Licensing Authority (AALA) - set up in 1995 after four people died while canoeing in Dorset.
After the Common Sense, Common Safety report of 2010, the UK government has committed to abolishing the 17 year old legislation. This forms the basis of the statutory licensing requirement of outdoor adventure providers who are commercial and who operate with children and young people.
This decision was taken following a UK-wide consultation on the issue which closed last September. SkillsActive and its Outdoor Employers Group (OEG) submitted a response to this consultation which can be viewed here: Consultation response
However, the Scottish Government believes that the outdoors licensing issue is a ‘devolved’ one. It has just launched a consultation of the development of safety systems for the outdoor adventure sector specifically in Scotland. The consultation and response document can be viewed here: Scottish consultation . The consultation closes on 30 March 2012. SkillsActive will be responding to the consultation
The consultation will look at, and compare, three options for Scotland, including the UK government's planned new voluntary code of practice and would remove costs associated with licensing, a non-statutory, voluntary accreditation scheme and a statutory scheme.
The Scottish consultation was formally launched by Commonwealth Games and sport minister Shona Robison.
Robison said: "Any safety system developed for adventure activities in Scotland would need to meet the needs of Scottish providers and users whilst being robust and proportionate.
"That's why I want to hear views on whether a statutory inspection and licensing regime should be maintained or if a new approach should be adopted."
From 21 December 2011 onwards the ERI is available to Scottish employers recruiting a Modern Apprentice, who matches one of the following criteria:
ERI is also available to employers recruiting an employee, who matches one of the following criteria:
This development is great news for Scottish businesses and young people across the country.
For more information please contact the Employer Helpline 0800 783 6000 or see www.skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk
Source: Skills Development Scotland
SkillsActive in Scotland and its partners are making good progress delivering the workforce for the 2014 Commonwealth Games legacy, according to the Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport.
SkillsActive in Scotland established the Active Scotland Workforce Development Group in 2009 to ensure Scotland had the right workforce to deliver the Commonwealth Games Legacy of a more active Scotland. It consists of a range of sport and physical activity employers, government agencies and training providers.
SkillsActive in Scotland manager Pam Scott says the group recently submitted a Status Report on the progress that the Group was making to Shona Robison, Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport and received a very positive response.
• welcomed the progress made in identifying the skills gaps and shortages within the physical activity and sports workforce both paid and voluntary.
• noted sport has an immediate attractiveness for most young people but it is important that we employ the right people with the right skills which will have an impact on their career and more importantly keep them physically active.
• acknowledged that the Development Model works towards meeting the challenges of skilling the workforce and ensuring the appropriate and realistic qualifications are in place to ensure priority areas such as volunteering and coaching are fit for purpose.
Ms Robison then added that it was “important people working in sport and physical activity have a greater knowledge and understanding of health issues relating to specific client groups and is encouraged by the co-operation of employers and training providers in taking this forward”
Pam says Ms Robison set out several next steps for the group, which they will consider at their next meeting on December 9.
English apprenticeship providers and employers acting on the behalf of apprentices will soon be able to request Apprenticeship certificates online.
The Alliance of Sector Skills Councils is now the Certifying Authority for England using the Apprenticeship Certificates England (ACE) system, following changes to the Apprenticeship certification system.
From 10 February 2012, apprenticeship providers / employers acting on the behalf of apprenticeswill be able to use the ACE online system to request certificates from sector skills bodies (SSBs) and sector skills councils (SSCs), such as SkillsActive.
SSBs and SSCs will then issue Apprenticeship certificates, providing the Apprenticeship framework requirements have been met.
• On 10 February 2012, SkillsActive will begin issuing Apprenticeship certificates via ACE
• SkillsActive will continue to issue certificates against claims submitted on the current paper based system until 31 March 2012.
• After 1 April 2012, SkillsActive will only accept requests from people registered on the ACE system
To request a certificate using the ACE system, please register on the ACE website. SkillsActive will issue a username and password to you within 5 – 7 working days.
If you request an Apprenticeship certificate using the ACE system, you will receive the new certificates with gold (higher apprenticeship), silver (advanced apprenticeship) or bronze (intermediate apprenticeship) foil seals. If you use the paper based system, you will receive the older version of the certificate.
• Apprenticeship certification claims submitted via the paper based system until 31 March 2012 – £25
• Apprenticeship certification claims submitted via ACE – £22
activepassports to link with ACE
SkillsActive is working to integrate activepassports into the ACE certification process.
Providers will soon be able to use activepassports to track a linked apprentice’s qualifications and the new statutory Guided Learning Hour requirement.
Following further development, it is hoped activepassport will populate ACE with the required certification information. This will enable providers to better track and manage their apprentices and, ultimately, help streamline the certification process.
Please keep an eye on your email inbox for further details, including activepassport package pricing.
The Skills Funding Agency has advised SkillsActive that the ERR awards will no longer have a value on Learning Aims Reference Application as stand alone qualifications. However, the Skills Funding Agency has calculated an enhanced amount of funding into the competence qualification's (NVQ) funding to cover the delivery of the ERR component of the framework in our sector.
The funding has not disappeared – it is still there but has been captured in the main component of the framework.
SkillsActive apologies if this change has caused concern. However, it was brought in without advance consultation. We hope this notice allays your concerns.
Our National Skills Academy for Sport and Active Leisure works with the best training providers in our sector to deliver cost-effective, quality assured training solutions.
SkillsActive helps improve business skills in our sector through a range of training initiatives and resources.
The ability to read, write and do maths opens up the number of career opportunities in the active leisure, learning and wellbeing industry. SkillsActive helps improve adult literacy, language and numeracy skills in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland through a range of training initiatives.
It takes special skills to lead a team - both on and off the field. Train your staff or improve your skills anywhere, at any time with SkillsActive’s selection of quick, simple and cost efficient online courses from quality training providers.
There are two types of Modern Apprenticeships available in the active leisure, learning and wellbeing sector in Scotland:
For information and documents relevant to Apprenticeships in Scotland see Frameworks and Guidance for Scotland.
SkillsActive manages the Hair and Beauty Apprenticeship frameworks in partnership with Habia, the sector body for the hair, beauty, nails and spa sector.
For Hair and Beauty Apprenticeship frameworks see the HABIA website.
For more information on modern apprenticeships in Scotland see the Scottish Qualifications Autority website.
For more information on Apprenticeships in Scotland please email
This section contains information and documents relevant to apprenticeships in England. All files are in PDF format.
The Apprenticeship frameworks developed to meet the requirements of the Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for England (SASE) are now available on the Apprenticeship Frameworks Online website.
SkillsActive offers 12 Apprenticeship frameworks in England in the active leisure, learning and wellbeing sector.
Intermediate Level Apprenticeships
Intermediate Apprenticeship in Leisure Operations (September 2011)
Possible job roles: park operative, maintenance operative, park receptionist, groundsperson, and recreation/leisure attendant.
Intermediate Apprenticeship in Coaching (January 2012)
Possible job roles: coach, instructor, teacher (tennis and swimming only)
Spectator Safety (June 2012)
Possible job roles: steward, marshal
Playwork (June 2012)
Possible job roles: assistant play worker, play centre assistant
Intermediate Apprenticeship in Activity Leadership (June 2012)
Possible job roles: community sports coach, activity leader, fitness leader, outdoors instructor, activity instructor
Exercise and Fitness (June 2012)
Possible job roles: fitness instructor / gym instructor, recreation assistant, exercise instructor, leisure centre assistant
Advanced Level Apprenticeships
Advanced Apprenticeship in Outdoor Programmes (April 2011)
Possible job roles: outdoor instructor, senior instructor, assistant & trainee variations, activity specific titles, for example climbing wall supervisor, team leader / supervisor, head of activity, project leader, group leader / counsellor
Exercise and Fitness (June 2012)
Possible job roles: advanced fitness instructor, personal trainer
Spectator Safety(June 2012)
Possible job roles: senior steward, marshal
Playwork (June 2012)
Possible job roles: playworker, senior playworker
Advanced Apprenticeship in Leisure Management (September 2011)
Possible job roles: advanced fitness instructor, studio coordinator, personal trainer, and yoga and pilates teacher
Advanced Apprenticeship in Sports Development (January 2012)
Possible job roles: community sports development officer, sports specific development officer