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Leading Ofqual-registered awarding body Active IQ has agreed a partnership with GLL (UK Active Employer of the Year) to help the business navigate the new Apprenticeship Levy and maximise the opportunities it presents.  With over 250 centres and an annual target of 400 apprentices, GLL has a significant role to fulfil in the sector.

GLL currently operates as an ‘employer-provider’ and delivers its training in-house via its training arm GLL College.  Active IQ has worked in close partnership with the group to provide its qualifications, training resources and other support services to deliver its bespoke apprenticeship training.

The GLL Apprenticeships being delivered with Active IQ approval and support are:

  • Apprenticeship in Leisure Operations
  • Apprenticeship in Activity Leadership
  • Apprenticeship in Customer Service
  • Apprenticeship in Exercise and Fitness (Gym Pathway)
  • Apprenticeship in Business Administration
  • Apprenticeship in Team Leading
  • Apprenticeship in Management

Around 240 of these apprenticeships will represent job creation, giving local people the opportunity to start their career journey with GLL. In addition, AIQ will be working with the GLL College on the delivery of both published and newly developed trailblazers to enhance their award winning GLL Academy to support a further 160 plus permanent staff to develop their career pathway.

As an established learning environment, the GLL College already has good insight into the requirements of Ofsted and education-related issues.  Combining this with its expertise as a training provider certainly gave GLL a head start.  However, Active IQ has brought plenty of new ideas, concepts and guidance on the best delivery methods to ensure the content, process and training delivery were as comprehensive and strong as possible.

As an employer, GLL will pay into its Apprenticeship Levy account and then draw on these funds to deliver an expanding and diverse apprenticeship programme.  Its qualifications will face the same scrutiny as an outside provider and Active IQ is working closely with GLL to ensure it not only meets but exceeds expectations.

“We have had apprenticeships at GLL for a number of years and initially, when we had fewer centres, we used private training providers generally with a good job done,” says Stuart Dickinson, National Apprenticeships Manager, GLL College. “Now with the government agenda clearly focusing on ‘Employer Led’ delivery, coupled with over 250 centres and a wide geographic spread across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, we can justify delivering our own apprenticeships. We also want to take full ownership as an employer of our apprenticeship programme with plans that by the end of the 2017 the vast majority of our Level 2 provision will be delivered internally,” continues Dickinson.  “This is very much the start point of what we hope will be a long career for people with GLL and we have planned clear routes to take them from entry level up to Level 7 if they wish.”

“Active IQ stood out as a forward-thinking organisation, one of the original trail blazers and a business that has had the Apprenticeship Levy top of mind since its inception.  It has many years’ experience of Apprenticeships in our sector which gave us confidence. Active IQ has provided a lot of support, held our hand when needed and taken us step-by-step to develop the qualifications, achieve centre approval, and establish and maintain high standards.”

“This is a great opportunity to work with Active IQ on a more strategic agenda and the wider GLL College national vision and ambitions and I look forward to achieving the partnership’s three year aspirations,” says Mac Cleves, Head of GLL College.

“We have thoroughly enjoyed working with GLL to help them develop and deliver their extensive Apprenticeship programme,” says Jenny Patrickson, Active IQ managing director.  “As an employer, it has multiple responsibilities to deliver against but I’m confident it has a set of robust training options that will encourage both new young apprentices and existing colleagues to sign up.  The Apprenticeship Levy is shining a light on this form of training and I welcome the chance to work with employers and training providers to help them step up to the plate to assess and, if necessary, upgrade their offering to maximise this new opportunity.”

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