Our key strategic priorities up to 2024

Download our Strategic Plan 2021-2024

Delivering for employers

  • IfATE follows expert guidance from thousands of large and small employers to deliver world-class apprenticeships, T Levels, and Higher Technical Qualifications.
  • They know best what training is needed to fill skills gaps, keep pace with technological advances, push forward the green agenda, and support the national recovery.
  • Our strategy explains how we will make employers the guiding force across the rest of technical education.

Building a more integrated skills system

  • The current system is too complicated. Quality suffers when standards are not set by employers.
  • Our strategy explains how we will create a unified system that always follows the lead of employers. This will drive up standards, making it far easier for people from all backgrounds to climb onto the careers ladder and maximise their potential.

Securing continuous improvement​

  • IfATE has shown that we can adapt and deliver quickly, launching T Levels and providing over 130 assessment flexibilities to support apprenticeships through COVID-19.
  • Our strategy stresses that we are always willing to listen and learn. It shows how we will continuously raise the quality bar across technical education.

Key facts and statistics

  • The employer-led system overseen by IfATE has already delivered over 630 apprenticeships, 10 T Levels, and 30 Higher Technical Qualifications. Everything follows the same employer-defined training requirements.
  • Employers and potential learners find the wider skills system over-complex. For example, there are 4,000 level 3 qualifications. Whereas in countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland, which have a great track record in technical training, they have just 500 or fewer technical qualifications at this level.
  • Concerns over quality and failures to keep pace with the economy’s skills needs were key findings from the defining reviews of further education of the past decade. The Wolf Report of Vocational Education, Richard Review of Apprenticeships, and Lord Sainsbury’s Report on Technical Education called for more employer input.
  • IfATE launched in 2017 to roll out higher quality employer-led apprenticeships. We have since taken on responsibilities for T Levels and Higher Technical Qualifications.
  • Apprenticeships are still a great route into vital traditional trades like plumbing, construction, and carpentry, but you can also now train to become a nurse, teacher, accountant, environmental practitioner, solicitor, architect, aerospace engineer, and so much more.
  • Satisfaction is high for apprenticeships among employers (85%) and apprentices (86%).
  • Around 40% of apprenticeships are with small and medium-sized employers (SMEs). The rest are with larger companies including famous names like Jaguar Land Rover, GlaxoSmithKline, Sky, the National Health Service, BAE Systems, Microsoft, and Amazon.
  • Between April 2020 and April 2021, around 70,000 people achieved apprenticeships supported by our special flexibilities that kept them going through COVID-19.
  • Over half of all available apprenticeships support people into entry-level jobs on the careers ladder (levels 2 and 3), accounting for around 70% of all starts on apprenticeships. Around 12% are at degree level (6 and 7).
  • Half of all apprentices are women. The share of BAME apprentices has risen gradually to 14%. This is reflective of population figures, but IfATE is determined to improve diversity across all sectors.
  • T Levels are a major step forward from other technical options for young people – because they are designed by employers and include substantial work placements (approximately 45 days) which will help learners into paid jobs.