A North East training provider has impressed inspectors in its first ever Ofsted report.
Training and apprenticeship provider Optimum Skills Limited, which is based in Newton Aycliffe, has achieved a ‘good’ Ofsted rating for its first ever inspection due to the quality of its apprenticeship programme.
Managing director Diane Shakespeare said: “We are absolutely delighted with the result. We’ve been continuously developing to ensure the quality of our training and apprenticeships.
“The result means we can shout about being a good provider. It shows learners and employers our high level of standards and the impact we have on apprentice progress and development.
“I’m so proud of the team. This is all about them – the apprentices wouldn’t progress as well without knowledgeable, inspiring tutors and our excellent support team.”
The report states that Optimum Skills effectively uses a programme of training to enable young people to progress in their apprenticeships. It is particularly focused on a range of apprentices in bricklaying, joinery and roofing that are in demand among employers who face a declining and ageing workforce. Learners can also choose to enrol on apprenticeships in business and operations, such as customer service, business administration, supply chain management and lean manufacturing.
According to the report, with Optimum Skills apprentices learn substantial new knowledge, skills and behaviours that they need to be successful at work. Those who successfully complete their programmes achieve well, with over half gaining a distinction. All apprentices who complete their apprenticeship continue to work as qualified and skilled employees.
Learners are well supported throughout their journey as an apprentice. Leaders and managers have developed a curriculum that enables young people and adults, from all social and educational backgrounds, to excel. By taking learners through a varied teaching programme which includes mock tests and observations, a high proportion successfully complete their apprenticeship.
Diane added: “We guarantee quality through continuous improvement by identifying issues quickly and working with our teams to solve them. Our curriculum enables young people to secure training and employment through a wide range of apprenticeship programmes. We are particularly pleased to be recognised for the increasing number of females becoming apprentices in construction, an industry where they are heavily underrepresented.”