Why did we develop Upskill Shropshire?
The implementation of the government’s Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017 gave an unprecedented opportunity to large employers like Shropshire Council to develop their workforce by attracting new talent, and by training and developing existing staff.
As a large employer we were keen to ensure that we developed a framework that delivered high quality apprenticeships for our workforce, whilst also demonstrating exceptional value for money to us as an employer. Recognising that other employers would need to go through the same exercise, a key deliverable for the Upskill project was the ability to extend the framework to external organisations. By selecting a mixture of local, regional and national providers, we've ensured that our framework provides the flexibility required, without compromising the high quality of apprenticeships on offer.
How did we develop Upskill Shropshire?
Our procurement process began in September 2016. Bringing together specialities from across the council, a project team was created in order to manage the tender creation and evaluation process. Potential providers were then put through a rigorous selection process. This took into account a number of key metrics such as Ofsted reports, financial data, previous attainment levels of apprenticeships, breadth of delivery and quality of delivery. By the end of the evaluation process we were able to select 15 providers to form our apprenticeship framework.
We then went through the process of categorising available apprenticeships into 24 sectors. With a maximum of five providers selected per category, this ensured that we only selected the top scoring providers in each allocated sector. Furthermore, we could then conduct a ‘mini-competition’ process for each individual apprenticeship, which means that we select the best provider for that individual’s needs.
Our continued investment
We're continually investing in Upskill Shropshire, and dedicated to ensuring that we can deliver high quality apprenticeships for employers and their employees. We do this by proactively monitoring the performance of our providers against key criteria, and looking to further develop the framework where possible. By working in partnership with our customers and providers we'll be able to ensure that Upskill Shropshire delivers high quality apprenticeships across the region.