A SOUTHAMPTON training provider has ceased all care apprenticeships after a damning Ofsted report.
Kiwi Education Ltd, based at Burlington House on Portland Terrace, has been rated ‘requires improvement’ by Ofsted.
Specialising in apprenticeships and online courses, it had 209 learner and apprentice enrolments at the time of the inspection.
Three out of seven categories – quality of education, leadership and management, and apprenticeships – were given a requires improvement grade.
Following the inspection in January, the firm decided to “discontinue the delivery of care apprenticeships as a training provider”.
Inspectors found that apprentices did not make the same “good progress” as other learners, adding that they didn’t know how to improve their quality of work.
The remaining four – behaviours and attitudes, personal development, education programmes for young people, and adult learning programmes – were all rated ‘good’.
Inspectors found that the majority of apprentices who identified themselves as having learning difficulties and/or disabilities (LDD) “have no planned support” and were “not making expected progress”.
This is because leaders relied on apprentices to decide if they needed help and then request assistance.
More than half of the apprentices with an identified LDD were behind in their studies.
Inspectors noted that trainers did not always provide learners and apprentices with feedback that identified areas for improvement.
They added that some trainers didn’t “consistently prioritise English and maths”.
Inspectors said this meant that “too many apprentices struggle to achieve” their functional skills in English and maths “quickly enough”.
The report stated that leaders and managers “have not ensured” that learners and apprentices benefited from a programme for career advice and guidance.
This meant that some people may take longer than expected to realise or reach their career goals and aspirations.
Despite this, inspectors noted that learners and apprentices displayed “positive attitudes” towards their studies, adding that they “value” their training and attend classes well.
Inspectors described the environment created by trainers as “calm and professional”.
Apprentices developed and applied their learning of the rule of law and equality to their professional situation.
The report stated that learners and apprentices improved their confidence and resilience during their programmes.
Michael Steel, managing director of Kiwi Education, said he was “pleased” that Ofsted rated the young person’s provision as ‘good’.
He added: “Our safeguarding of learners programme is strong as well as governance.
“However, it was the apprenticeship provision which caused our overall grade to be moved into requires improvement and this was mainly around a number of learners within the care sector being over their predicted end date.
“We made the business decision that due to the pressures in care with Covid, homes being understaffed, learners’ personal challenges with cost of living, Kiwi trainers would not apply undue pressure on learners to complete within the funding period even though we knew that was a risk.
“We felt a duty of care to the learners. It is a great sadness that since the Ofsted inspection, we feel we have no other option but to discontinue the delivery of care apprenticeships as a training provider.
“Unfortunately the number of providers nationwide delivering health and social care over the last three years has dropped.
“I am disappointed that although two other areas of provision were good, we were given an overall requires improvement.”