Supporting Industry And Facing The Future: Skills Active Reflects On 2020 In Its Annual Report
Skills Active has released its 2020 annual report, detailing a year in which its industries showed their true colours, demonstrating incredible resilience and tenacity in the face of the huge challenges that Covid-19 threw at us all.
“Our industries, all of which depend heavily on face-to-face contact, were some of the hardest hit by the pandemic restrictions,” says Skills Active chair Sam Napia.
“However they pulled together to face a common problem, and it was that unity that carried us all through, despite the undoubted hardship and losses that many endured,” Mr Napia says.
“The exercise sector adapted with stunning agility to offer its services via video. National gym chains provided free virtual exercise to help people stay active at home. The snowsport industry dug deep and hosted big domestic crowds despite losing access to its international workforce. And entertainment venues pivoted to become temporary logistics centres for emergency food parcels.”
Mr Napia notes that Skills Active acted quickly to waive fees on most of its certificate-level qualifications. At the same time, strong central government support for apprenticeships, through the Apprenticeship Boost and Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund, saw a big increase in apprentice enrolments.
Along with nine new certificate programmes, Skills Active launched four new apprenticeships in 2020. Across its entire apprenticeship range, the organisation enrolled 662 new apprentices during the year – a seven-fold annual increase.
Skills Active delivered 1,144 standard training measures for the year, and saw the completion of 1,576 national qualifications. The overall credit achievement rate was 61% across all trainees.
“These figures were down from 2019; however, we were heartened to see our industries continuing to achieve respectable results at a time when businesses and staff were struggling with a raft of external pressures,” Mr Napia says.
Meanwhile, the Reform of Vocational Education accelerated during 2020, he adds, and Skills Active stepped up its work in preparing for the handover of its industry training functions.
“Although this meant an increasing workload for our team, it also provided opportunities to adapt and respond at a strategic level, so that the twin pressures of the vocational changes and the post-Covid recovery are taken into account as we navigate the reform,” Mr Napia says.