The University of Lincoln currently delivers apprenticeships to over 1000 learners across over 20 standards, having begun their apprenticeship delivery in 2002.
Among the top 30 universities in the UK for student satisfaction and partnering with several large employers, the university prides itself on being a blueprint for industry engagement – launching new academic programmes that support specific skills gaps and through its pursual of cutting-edge research to solve global commercial challenges.
The university has used Tribal’s Maytas system for over 20 years to input, track and report on their student information. I sat down with Professor Sharon Green, Director of Apprenticeships and Skills at the university, to understand more about how they approach apprenticeship delivery from a HE perspective and how her experience in FE allowed her to tailor their approach.
I started with the university in 2002, we already had Maytas, and as the University of Lincoln funding contract evolved, we had to continue with a solution. We were really happy with Maytas. It did exactly what we needed to do. We certainly don’t envisage that there is a platform out there that will magically make us compliant – the key is what you do with the systems and processes to make them effective for you, and with Maytas, it absolutely does what we need it to.”
With the everchanging education policy landscape, I asked Sharon how in particular, she found Maytas for newer regulations and processes that have come into effect more recently:
Over the years I’ve used Maytas for a variety of things, including the recording of non-funded learners and co-funded learners as part various projects. For any external inspections, including (Ofsted and ESFA) the demographics inspectors might need are all on Maytas and provides us with up-to-date information.”
Until recent years, apprenticeships weren’t a focus for universities, with traditional degree courses being a priority. As the demand for apprenticeships continues to grow, with more students looking to opt for a degree apprenticeship over alternative study routes, having a colleague managing the programmes who initially worked within further education certainly helped.
To have a system that tracks regulatory changes is important and bringing an FE background to the mix from a compliance point of view assists me in saving time and effort for colleagues. Explaining to colleagues how systems and processes can enhance what we do is important due to the pace that we have to work.”
Using her experience and understanding of FE and HE apprenticeship delivery, Sharon has made Maytas work for her from standards starting at Level 3.
The ways that I have the reports running are really important to me because I can see across all the levels we deliver in a snapshot. The system is a key tool for a quick scan of who’s on functional skills, who’s ALS, etc., filtering across the levels. I’m often asked to report on accredited and non-accredited learners to provide the numbers for the different projects and external stakeholders. The filtering process allows me to manage data quickly and effectively by using the reporting tool function.”
As our conversation drew to a close, I asked Sharon how she felt about being inspection ready in a world of compliance.
“Whilst external stakeholders are not as focused on data as they used to be, it’s the only way that you can drive continuous improvements and look at whether your intent is turned into impact. It’s how you then take data and do something with that is a challenge for colleagues who haven’t been used to a quality assurance culture before. We all do it differently, across different institutions. I think inspections and auditing are essential to understanding if what you’re doing is working but working well, you must embrace it and we are held to account for the roles we play. I can say that the way we run our reports is easy to understand, and from a guidance point of view, Maytas allows us to provide the data needed for any inspection.”
Finally, I asked Sharon what advice she would give to anyone considering investing in Tribal’s Maytas solution:
I would tell them to do their homework and look at what the different systems are doing. Speak to those who use it and imagine how it would work alongside your current systems. It is important to understand the system and how it will work for you if you invest time into it. We’re always looking at ways we can improve how we use it. As I said before, we’re really happy with Maytas, and it works for what we need it to do.”
If you’d like to find out how investing in Tribal's apprenticeship management solution, Maytas could work at your organisation, you can get in touch here.
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Skills, Training and Employability
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