SkillsActive Wales has agreed a mutual programme of work with Sport Wales which will enable the delivery of an extensive programme over the coming year. SkillsActive Wales is also happy to have secured funding from the Welsh Government Sector Priorities Fund Pilot (SPFP) to develop innovative learning and teaching materials for the level 3 Playwork Principles into Practice (P3) qualification.
The investment from Sport Wales will have a positive impact on the delivery of the SkillsActive Wales Business Plan 2012-13 and will ensure the full involvement of Welsh employers across the Active Leisure, Learning and Well-being sector.
The Sport Wales funding will go towards a number of initiatives which SkillsActive Wales has already begun to implement. These include:
• The production of an Annual State of the Industry Report for Wales, exploring sector specific gaps and shortages
• The development of a Single Qualification Framework, produced and agreed with key stakeholders in Wales
• An increase in REPs Wales members from 1000 to 1100, plus a 10% increase in the number of Welsh employers registering with REPs and a 5% increase in the number of instructors holding a level 3 qualification
• Promoting the importance of Active Passports across the sector.
In relation to the Sport Wales investment, SkillsActive Manager Richard Tobutt commented:
"SkillsActive Wales has maintained a healthy working relationship with Sport Wales for around 10 years. The activities agreed as part of this programme will positively impact on both the Sport Wales Vision for Sport, and particularly the 'skilled and passionate workforce strand', and the strategic context outlined in the Welsh Government 'Creating an Active Wales' document."
The Welsh Government Sector Priorities Fund Pilot also secured by SkillsActive Wales will massively assist playwork training delivery across Wales, by ensuring that the workforce is adequately skilled, trained and possesses the correct resources.
The project aims to develop and finalise bilingual learning and teaching materials for the recently developed Level 3 qualification entitled 'Playwork Principles into Practice' (P3).
The funding will allow SkillsActive Wales to lead the development of a full suite of resources for the Award, Certificate and Diploma which will promote high quality learning. Trainers currently delivering level 2 Playwork qualifications will also be upskilled, allowing them to progress the wide scale delivery of level 3 across Wales.
Concerning playwork funding, SkillsActive Technical Manager, Home Countries, Debbie Willets comments:
"The Children and Families (Wales) Measure places a duty on each local authority to provide sufficient play opportunities for children and young people and will increase the demand for qualifications within the playwork sector. Therefore, this project will have a positive impact on this strategic development and will go some of the way to address the skills shortages that exist across Wales."
Playwork qualification delivery is in its infancy in Wales, therefore the production of these resources will have a positive impact on the development of the playwork infrastructure. Ultimately, learners will benefit from these developments and will be able to further develop their playwork skills.
The investments will bring a whole range of benefits to the sport, fitness and playwork sectors in Wales, benefitting both the workforce and the general public.
Paul worked as a playworker before moving into a development role, supporting and encouraging others to provide opportunities to play.
Following this, he took up his role with SkillsActive, leading the Playwork team in the development of workforce strategy, occupational standards and qualifications.
While at SkillsActive he continued his involvement in the delivery of play services through an active involvement in the management of an adventure playground, never losing touch with the children and young people who benefit from play provision.
The Award is being presented at the 10th Annual Playwork Conference in Eastbourne on 6- 7 March 2012.
SkillsActive will also be at the event, offering workshops on the new level 4 and 5 playwork qualifications at the event and explaining the fascinating world of SIC and SOC codes!
To nominate someone for this special award, please visit http://www.playworkconferences.org.uk/Awards.html
Nominations close Friday 10 February 2012.
Shiremoor adventure playground in North Tyneside provides five to 13 year olds with opportunities for adventurous play in a staffed, safe environment.
Manager Keeks McGarry says during the peak summer season, up to 300 children can use the facility on a single day: “Having a high ratio of staff to children is key to providing quality playwork service.”
Motivated by the need for more staff, Keeks recruited four apprentices to join his team of three fulltime workers in August 2011. One of those is Natasha Killeen, 17, who is completing her level 2 Apprenticeship in Playwork.
Natsaha says: “I’d always wanted to work with children. An Apprenticeship allowed me to gain paid experience in the field and recognised qualifications to kick start my career.
An average day for Natasha involves setting up the facility and engaging children in activities such as drawing or football, as well as additional duties such as cleaning. On Thursdays and Fridays she attends Tyne Metropolitan College to gain the knowledge component of her apprenticeship.
“It’s a really challenging role because you have to adapt your methods depending on whether you’re working with a five year old or a 13 year old,” she says.
Keeks says Apprenticeships help professionalise the sector, and promote playwork as a viable career option.
“Apprenticeships provide a clear entry point for people looking for a career in playwork. We now have several students on work placement wanting to start their career in playwork with an Apprenticeship.”
To learn more about Apprenticeships in the sport and active leisure sector, and how your business can benefit, please register your interest at www.skillsactive.com/takethelead
SkillsActive Wales has secured about £235,000 of Government funding from the Sector Priority Fund Pilot to develop qualifications at Award, Certificate and Diploma levels for Playwork Principles into Practice. Play Wales and the SQA have been appointed to lead the delivery of the project.
SkillsActive Wales manager Richard Tobutt says: “The Playwork sector is already facing a significant skills shortage in Wales. This will be compounded by laws introduced in 2012 requiring each local authority to provide sufficient play opportunities for children and young people.
“We are really pleased that our bid for this funding has been successful and that playworkers will now have the opportunity to access these higher level qualifications.”
The new qualifications will be placed on the QCF at Level 3 and are intended for playworkers and childcare staff wanting to progress from the existing suite of P3 qualifications at Level 2.
SkillsActive, the sector skills council for active leisure, learning and well-being, has secured £230,000 of Government funding from the Growth and Innovation Fund, which is jointly administered by The Department for Business Innovation and Skills, the Skills Funding Agency and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES).
The Fund matches employer funding with Government funding to help meet skills gaps in economically important sectors. The Joint Investment Programme in Playwork focuses on the skills gaps identified to SkillsActive by playwork employers.
Lesli Godfrey, Strategic Lead for Playwork at SkillsActive, says: “We are really pleased that our bid for this funding has been successful and that employers will now have this opportunity to access a Playwork qualification for their staff from an early years background.”
Playworkers provide spaces and resources for children and young people to come together and play in their free time, at out of school clubs, adventure playgrounds, parks and community centres across the country. The subsidised qualification equips staff who have gained early years qualifications with the principles, knowledge and understanding of Playwork that they need in order to facilitate play opportunities for children and young people.
SkillsActive is looking for playworkers in England to take advantage of the offer of 50pc matched funding towards the Level 3 Award in Transition to Playwork (from early years).
SkillsActive is now working with City College Norwich and a network of partner training providers to deliver the programme across all counties of England. It is intended that the programme will be completed by the end of July 2013.
To be eligible for funding, learners must hold a full level 3 early years qualification, based on the children’s care learning and development or early years and education standards. This does not include the new level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce at present. Employers will need to pledge at least 50pc of the cost of the qualification i.e. £229 to enable this to be matched by Government.
All learners will also receive their own SkillsActive activepassport, an on-line tool to record their qualifications, training and experience.
Dick Palmer, Principal, City College Norwich, says: “We are delighted to be working with SkillsActive and partners to deliver the Level 3 Award in Transition to Playwork nationwide which will help extend the opportunities available to those already trained in early years.”
Details of the training available and the process by which both employers and playworkers can register their interest can be found at http://www.ccn.ac.uk/form/playworktransition
SkillsActive in Northern Ireland recently completed consultation on proposals for ‘Minimum Standards for Daycare and Childminding for Children under 12’ with Playwork partner PlayBoard NI and eight key Playwork employers in Northern Ireland.
SkillsActive’s Northern Ireland Manager Siobhan Weir says the consultation produced three positive outcomes:
For information and documents relevant to Apprenticeships in Northern Ireland see Frameworks and Guidance for Northern Ireland.
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 apprenticeships in Northern Ireland see the Department for Employment and Learning website.
Apprenticeships are available in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. However, each country has a slightly different approach.
Select a country below to learn more about the frameworks available in your area.