A TRAINING provider based in Andover has made ‘insufficient progress’ after inspectors found apprentices do not gain qualifications and improve their work skills.

Wiser Academy received a damning report after an Ofsted inspection took place on July 24 and 25.

Since 2017, the academy has been offering apprenticeships and at the time of the watchdog’s visit around 110 apprentices were in training, nearly all of them aged over 19-years-old.

Apprentices study a wide range of standards-based apprenticeships in finance subjects. Over half are studying senior financial customer adviser or insurance practitioner training programmes.

Inspectors found that leaders and managers did not have effective process in place to improve the quality of teaching, learning and assessment.

They added: “They complete observations of teaching, learning and assessment, but do not use the findings from these to support improvement or inform staff development.

“Managers who report on training sessions focus too much on what the trainer is doing and not on the learning and progress of apprentices.”

Insufficient attention is paid to the teaching of English and mathematics, “so apprentices do not gain qualifications and improve their work skills”.

Targets are also not set and recorded, with the report adding: “Apprentices are not aware of the requirements of the end-point assessment or the different grades they could achieve in their qualifications. As a result, they do not aim for higher levels of achievement.”

Despite criticism, inspectors noted that managers work successfully with employers to establish what professional qualifications they require.

The report said: “Too few apprentices are developing substantial new knowledge, skills and behaviours as a result of their apprenticeship programme.”

It added: “Managers’ tracking of off-the-job training is not sufficiently rigorous or consistent. They do not make sure that all apprentices are getting their entitlement to support their development of new knowledge and skills.”

While inspectors found that managers plan the curriculum in detail, the schedule does not make sure that all apprentices are able to complete the activities and assessments within the planned timescale.

“Consequently, apprentices struggle to manage their learning, prepare for examinations and fulfil their work obligations.”

The report added: “Most apprentices’ line managers are not sufficiently involved in the apprenticeship programmes.

“They do not attend the one-to-one meetings to review apprentices’ progress or agree their further development needs in the workplace. As a result, they are not aware of how to support the apprentices or what apprentices need to do.”

However, inspectors found that leaders and managers make sure that safeguarding arrangements are effective and that all apprentices are safe.

Crescens George, chief executive of Wiser Academy, which also offers business training, said: “This is our first experience of Ofsted. We value the feedback they have given. The areas of improvement are administrative in terms of getting paperwork done and we look forward to implementing them and having a more successful Ofsted visit next time.”