Education Secretary announces Capital funding for T Levels

Yesterday Education Secretary Damian Hinds announced that £38 million is being made available to the first providers of T Levels to make sure pupils taking the new technical qualifications from 2020 have access to the equipment and facilities they need.

T Levels, which will be on a par with A Levels, will provide young people with a high quality choice between technical and academic education post-16. Courses in construction, digital and education & childcare will be taught for the first time from September 2020.

The new qualifications will help ensure that young people can get the skills and knowledge they need and the economy demands.

The funding will be available to the providers delivering the first three T Levels in time to make sure they can invest in equipment, facilities and refurbishment works via a bidding round.

Transcity Rail North takes place tomorrow in Manchester

Don’t forget that TransCity Rail North takes places tomorrow at The Principal Hotel in Manchester.  Now in its 5th year, the event continues to bring together the leaders from across the region responsible for delivering the Northern Powerhouse Rail for a lively and engaging conference, exhibition, networking dinner and panel discussion focusing on northern programmes, HS2, CP6,
funding & investment, devolution, infrastructure, technology and of course supply chain engagement.

The event will feature Tim Wood – Northern Powerhouse Rail Director Transport for the North as keynote speaker.

Event details:
Date: 4th Oct 2018
Venue: The Principal Hotel,
Oxford Road, Manchester
Conference: 08:30 – 16:00
Dinner: 18:00 – 02:00

To book you place or for more information click here

“TCR gives us that opportunity to really develop relationships with the supply chain”

Paul Griffiths, Managing Director, Phase 2, HS2

“TCR gives us a great opportunity to meet SMEs – I’ve had half a dozen people queuing up to have a conversation with me and I have a fist full of business cards”

Andy Haynes, Contracts and Procurement Director, Network Rail

Ged Weeden, BDM, Ground Control Ltd
“We’ve really enjoyed the quality of delegates coming around and the brilliant opportunities to meet new people”

Marie Rayner, Head of Process, Morson International
“We’ve been able to network with a lot of key players and make relationships that we wouldn’t otherwise had access to “

Chun-Kit Kan, Company Director, KanDo Ventures
“It’s a great event with plenty of directors and lots of opportunity to network”

Brexit: “You can sense the nervousness!” – NSAR features in Rail Review Q3

View the new article “Brexit: “You can sense the nervousness!” in the Q3 Edition of Rail Review by BBC South Transport Correspondent – Paul Clifton. Rail Review last examined the impact of Brexit two years ago and with the imminent deadline approaching, the article focuses on whether the effect has become any clearer.

The editorial includes commentary from NSAR Chief Executive, Neil Robertson as well as significant data and analysis supplied by the NSAR Skills Intelligence Division via the recent
DfT STAT Skills Forecasting Baseline Study Report.

You can read the full article at the Rail Review website by clicking here.
(A subscription is required to view).

Updates to the Further Education and Skills Inspection Handbook go into effect today

The Handbook for Further Education and Skills Inspection has been updated and published today with some important changes for any provider delivering apprenticeships.

Ofsted have provided more detail regarding monitoring visits and full inspections for providers that became newly directly funded to deliver apprenticeship training provision from or after April 2017:

  • The monitoring visit will normally be carried out within 24 months of the start of the direct funding by ESFA or through the apprenticeship levy.
  • Such providers will normally receive their first full inspection within 24 months of the publication of the report of that monitoring visit.

Further information has also been provided regarding what actions Ofsted will take following a monitoring visit which has one or more ‘insufficient progress’ judgements:

  • These providers will normally receive their full inspection within 6 to 12 months of the publication of the monitoring visit report.
  • If a provider is judged to have made ‘insufficient progress’ with respect to safeguarding, they will also normally receive one further monitoring visit to review only their safeguarding arrangements, within four months of the previous monitoring visit.

The tighter time frames mean you need to be ready for an Ofsted visit now, there will not be time to prepare when you get the phone call.

A reminder that normally there is two working days’ notice before a monitoring visit, however, inspectors may arrive unannounced.

For more information or assistance with Ofsted inspections contact us at

ICE Shaping a Digital World event follows up previous year’s success

NSAR Skills Intelligence team ran an interactive session on digital capability to a group of asset owners, consultants, contractors, academics and technology providers focusing on the key challenges associated with the digital transformation of the workforce at the ICE Shaping a Digital World event on 25th September. The programme covered key themes of productivity, behaviour and value of data – all focused on how to break down barriers and help turn infrastructure into an information-based industry.

Neil Franklin, Head of NSAR Skills Intelligence led the session looking at why day to day upskilling was important, what support options were available to the workforce, what digital innovations had they seen that really captured their imagination and how can industry collaborate to harness innovation in digital upskilling and training. Finally, Neil asked the groups what they would do if they were Secretary of State for Digital.

Michelle Russell, NSAR Senior Analyst then summarised the debate and the responses to the questions in turn, selecting key highlights from the notes provided by each of the groups.

Key industry figures in attendance included senior representatives from TechUK, BuroHappold, BaseStone, Centre for Digital Built Britain  Atkins, Amey Consulting, Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction, Laing O’Rourke and Thames Tideway.

Winning the talent Battle: NSAR features in Railway Gazette International

View the new article “Winning the talent battle” in the September Edition of Railway Gazette International by NSAR Director of Strategy – Shamit Gaiger.

An ageing demographic, chronic lack of diversity, wage inflation and changes in technology are all posing a threat to the skills base of the UK rail sector.

Shamit focuses on how the industry could act together to attract and excite future talent suited to a rapidly evolving industry while also upskilling the existing workforce

To read the full article click here and subscribe today!