Response to Ofsted report: Why training providers need to act responsibly when designing apprenticeship course content

Training Manager, Fay Gibbin, at Busy Bees Training, the educational academy at Busy Bees, the largest provider of childcare in the UK, gives her response to the Ofsted latest report, which calls into question the value of apprenticeships.

“The value of apprenticeships has been brought into question recently by education watchdog, Ofsted. In its report Ofsted criticised certain courses and providers for failing to equip learners with the right skills. Indeed Ofsted went on to suggest that some courses, referencing those in the care and retail sectors as prime examples, were accrediting low skilled tasks including coffee making and floor cleaning as part of an apprenticeship programme.

“To reputable training providers, these criticisms are a hard pill to swallow and risk damaging the recognition and credibility apprenticeships are beginning to gain, which we’ve fought so long and hard to achieve. But not all providers are the same and not all apprenticeship courses are created equal. The recent criticism from Ofsted has done nothing to promote apprenticeships as a real alternative to more traditional routes to further and higher education but it’s right that the concerns have been raised. As part of the UK’s largest provider of childcare, and specialising in apprenticeships and training course in Early Years, our course content is tailored to provide learners with a wide grounding in childcare; from childhood development theory to working with children with additional needs, early years diet and nutrition to safeguarding best practice and first aid.

“We’re committed to nurturing the next generation of childcare practitioners and we are not alone in our passion and dedication to make sure apprenticeships deliver real value to learners, employers and the wider economy. Ofsted’s recent warnings over inadequate apprenticeships, and the risk of prioritising volume over quality as the Government plans to further expand the number of apprenticeships in the UK, is a stark warning to the training sector to ensure course content is fit for purpose and meets the needs of employers. And achieves far more than teach school leavers how to boil a kettle but nurtures the skills that employers are looking for.

“The bottom line is apprenticeships have the potential to deliver un-parallel value to learners, employers and the economy and we all have a role to play in making sure that message gets through to the right people; that opportunity to embark upon an apprenticeship is accessible; and that course content is meaningful.”

For more information regarding choosing the right career path within the childcare sector please go to or contact Busy Bees Training on 01543 711150.

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