TSNLA in Third Sector Apprenticeship Trailblazor group

The Third Sector Learning Alliance (TSNLA), Fair Train, V Learning Net, Enable and the awarding body Ascentis, are working together to explore whether a "Trailblazer" Apprenticeship for the Third Sector can be created. There was an initial meeting on the 12th May 2016 in London to see if there was common accord to see this project succeed, and whether apprenticeships for volunteer management could be created. Trailblazers are designed and created by "employers" - in this case Third Sector employers - and they only work if sufficient organisations (employers) get involved.


The Apprenticeship frameworks originally developed to address skills gaps specifically for the voluntary and community sector - namely fundraising, campaigning and volunteer management - have now been dropped, despite industry demand. With the emergence of the new Trailblazer Apprenticeship standards in practice means that there are now no Apprenticeships available which specifically address the skills gaps within our sector. Whilst some VCS organisations will be subject to the Apprenticeship Levy which comes into effect in April 2017, in reality there is no tailored Apprenticeship available for them to purchase.   NCVO estimates that the Apprenticeship Levy is likely to cost larger charities around £60-70m.


The new Apprenticeship standards are developed using a 'trailblazer' method where a group of employers represent the sector and devise the assessment criteria required for the new Apprenticeship, resulting in a new qualification designed specifically to meet the employment needs of the sector. Almost a hundred different Apprenticeship standards for a variety of sectors have already been approved, with several hundred more in development.


Fair Train

Fair Train is the Group Training Association (GTA) for the VCS. In this role Fair Train promotes workforce development and champions all forms of high quality work experience including traditional work placements, vocational training, volunteering (where it is specifically aimed at developing employability skills) internships, Traineeships and Apprenticeships.  As a GTA, Fair Train represents the views of, shares best practice with, and supports the growth of voluntary and community sector organisations that are looking to embrace any form of high quality work experience as part of their work.  Fair Train is the leading independent VCS deliverer of accreditation, CPD, training and professional development relating to all forms of work experience, showcasing best practice and driving up quality across the sector


If you would like to know more about Trailblazers and how they work or if you would like to be a part of a regional development group please get in touch with Stephen Howard - CEO and TSNLA trustee - V Learning Net. Mobile 07988 598239 or Ian Jelley at ian.jelley@fairtrain.org

Also feel free to circulate the information to your network partners and colleagues. The Third Sector is so diverse, the wider the range of Third Sector organisations involved the better.