The Alliance of Sector Skills Councils

National apprenticeship certification system launched for England

02 Feb 2012

The Alliance of Sector Skills Councils, the organisation responsible for representing the voice of sector skills councils, sector skills organisations and their employers across the UK skills system, in conjunction with the National Apprenticeship Service, have launched a new online system to support the statutory certification of apprenticeships across England.

As the Certifying Authority for Apprenticeships in England, the Alliance will be responsible for issuing certificates upon the successful completion of each Apprenticeship. The new centralised Apprenticeship Certificates England (ACE) system will save apprenticeship training providers and issuing authorities valuable time, resource and investment and will allow them to track the progress of apprenticeship candidates.

Speaking at the launch, Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, John Hayes MP, said: “The Government is restoring practical learning to its rightful place as a hallmark of personal attainment and national pride. Apprenticeships are a gold standard qualification, and it's right that the hard work of people who undertake them should be marked and celebrated.

“In this Olympic year, I am delighted to launch the new national gold, silver and bronze certificates to recognise the success of apprentices. The launch of these awards reflects the sterling achievements of the Alliance of Sector Skills Councils and the National Apprenticeship Service in helping forge a revitalised skills system that meets - and raises - the aspirations of learners and employers.”

John Rogers, Executive Chair of the Alliance, said: “I am delighted to be able to announce the launch of ACE, a system that will enable the certification of Apprenticeships in England and will underpin this vital programme.

“Apprenticeships play an important role in the provision of a highly skilled workforce in England and it is vital that we ensure individuals have the right skills, at the right time, to ensure they are best-placed to take advantage of the opportunities that arise as the economy continues to recover.”

Keith Marshall OBE, chief executive of SummitSkills who chaired the Alliance group overseeing development of the new system, said: “I am delighted at the successful implementation and launch of the ACE system. This new system will benefit all parties – training providers, issuing authorities and apprentices themselves. It will streamline the certification process and make it more efficient and cost effective, providing a better service for everyone involved.”

Asked what an apprenticeship meant to her, Tammy Barrow, who was one of the apprentices to receive her certificate from the Minister at the launch, said: “Upon joining ward D5 at Southampton General Hospital, I found my role enjoyable, busy yet interesting. I found that I was always learning something new and wanted to take that step with a formal qualification. Within that year, I had enrolled onto the Advanced Apprenticeship in Health which has enabled me to gain clinical skills and knowledge which I love being able to bring to my work area with the support of my Ward, Assessor and Vocational Skills Centre.

“Completing the Advanced Apprenticeship has given me the confidence I needed to progress in nursing. I have now enrolled onto the Foundation Degree in Health and Social Care which I believe will enable me to develop my skills and to progress further within this rewarding field of work.”

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