Apprenticeship Consortium Steering Group

Terms of Reference of Apprenticeship Consortium Group

Role:

The key function of the National Consortium Steering Group (CSG) is to ensure the National Apprenticeship Programme conforms to and evolves with the requirements of the occupation.  It is industry led and acts to bring together the employers, the Co-ordinating Provider and other collaborating providers involved in the programme.

Membership:

It comprises of the National Apprenticeship Programme’s key stakeholders including SOLAS as the Statutory Regulating Authority, employers, occupational associations, any occupational regulators and Co-ordinating Provider.

Chair: Person of Authority from an enterprise or the community of practice involved in the occupation

Secretary: The Co-ordinating Provider should provide secretariat for the committee

Ordinary Members: The majority of the Consortium Steering Group will comprise of representatives from enterprises, employer’s associations, community of practice or relevant professional bodies.  The Co-ordinating Provider as well as representatives from other “off-the-job” providers shall also be members. 

Accountable to:

LOETB FET Quality Forum

Responsibilities:

  • The Consortium Steering Group is part of the overall national development structure of all new apprenticeship programmes.The role, membership and purpose of the CSG are set out in QQI Topical QA Guidelines for New Apprenticeships
  • The Coordinating Provider for the Apprenticeship plays a lead role in liaising with the employers and other providers through the Consortium Steering Group.The role of the Consortium Steering Group is to ensure the Apprenticeship Programme complies with the requirements of the occupation. The CSG has a key role in the development and review of the occupational profile and in promoting public awareness of that profile
  • Develop in conjunction with relevant stakeholders binding MOAs/MOUs which commit all parties to the implementation process
  • The CSG contributes to the decision-making process in collaboration with the ETB and national stakeholders on the expansion of apprenticeships, and the addition of new employers and providers.Approval for establishment of the CSG is vested in the Apprenticeship Council
  • The governance and operating processes for the CSG are being further developed by SOLAS in collaboration with national stakeholders.This may change some of the relationships and operations outlined below.
  • On validation of the programme, the role of the CSG will transition from the developmental role in the establishment of the occupational profile and the appointment of a Coordinating Provider, to a continuing role in supporting and improving the validated apprenticeship programme
  • To carry out this role the CSG will interact with employers, the regulatory authorities, the occupational bodies, the National Programme Board and the Coordinating and Collaborating Providers
  • Seek to ensure that recruitment and delivery arrangements adequately support equity and inclusion of applicants and provide relevant learning support for these groups if needed

Operational Matters:

Consortium Steering Group – Inputs

  • The Consortium Steering Group will receive its information from a number of sources
  • During the development and validation phase of the programme the CSG will receive ongoing reports on the structure and outcomes of the programme
  • LOETB will inform the CSG of issues pertaining to the management and delivery of the programme.
  • SOLAS will inform the CSG on developments in labour market conditions both regionally and nationally as reports are generated by state bodies.The SOLAS Authorised Officer may also liaise with the CSG on issues concerning the statutory apprenticeship system.A particular area of concern might be the management of fluctuating demand for apprentices and for dealing with deficits in an individual apprentice’s training
  • Employers, through membership of the CSG, may communicate concerns over the programme, its delivery or management or the apprenticeship itself.This will also be achieved by formal surveys of employers initiated by the CSG
  • Apprentices, through feedback mechanisms, can bring their concerns to CSG using the reporting system referred to in the LOETB QAP document
  • The review of the occupational profile gives industry in general the opportunity to inform the CSG of particular and also broad changes in the sector that might require the CSG’s attention

Consortium Steering Group – Outputs

  • In its operation, the CSG will report to the Coordinating Provider, SOLAS, the public and the employers.Some of this activity may be delegated to the Coordinating Provider through the secretariat
  • The CSG provides the Coordinating Provider with the approved Occupational Profile for the apprenticeship
  • During the development phase, it will comment and agree the structure of the programme and the MIPLOs.Pending the establishment of LOETB’s Apprenticeship Quality Council, it will also agree the final submission to QQI
  • It will comment on reports received from the National Programme Board on the recruitment and assessment of learners and on the delivery of the programme.It may advise the ETB to take specific action on foot of feedback from employers or apprentices
  • The CSG will act to support SOLAS by informing it of local and regional demand for apprentice programmes, by assessing capacity of employers and enterprises to train apprentices in conjunction with SOLAS and by suggesting new employers and providers
  • The CSG has a public role in supporting the promotion of the occupation and the apprenticeship.It will do this by providing information on the programme to the potential apprentices and to the media
  • Through its employer members and professional bodies, it will inform the industry of matters relating to the programme

Through surveys and reports on surveys, it will inform the industry of shared and particular issues in relation to the programme

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