The Furniture and Interiors Education, Skills and Training Alliance (FIESTA) is delighted to announce its innovative strategic partnership with newly formed End-point Assessment Organisation, Achieve+Partners.
Achieve+Partners provides End-point Assessment products and services for the furniture, wood and trade supplier industries. As a niche organisation, it plans to do things differently by putting partnerships front and centre of the business. In an industry experiencing huge changes and challenges, Achieve+Partners’ ethos is to work purposefully with a wide range of organisations, bringing the industry closer together. It will use its highly skilled employees to share their expertise and knowledge whilst at the same time providing added-value support to all of its apprenticeship partners.
Founder Lisa Williamson, who has committed many decades to the industry, believes that this unique partnership approach will unite the sector, bringing together professional and trade bodies with employers and training providers and enabling apprentices to achieve their full potential.
FIESTA – which was formed to connect and inspire furniture and interiors businesses and provide solutions to address education and training issues in the sector – sees this focus on partnership working as a key way of creating a common purpose. It recognises the importance of a continued dialogue across the sector especially during the current period of economic uncertainty coupled with the many changes taking place across apprenticeship standards.
Chair of FIESTA, Gary Baker stated: “One of our main aims is to address the sector’s future skills gaps and the work we are doing on the development of apprenticeship standards is offering new and exciting possibilities to the workforce. But input from employers throughout the process is critical and our partnership with Achieve+Partners will help us to further unite the sector and provide education and training solutions to really meet the ever-evolving needs of the employers and continue to attract much needed talent to the industry.”
The new apprenticeship standards have been introduced as part of the Government’s major apprenticeship reforms and focus on a shift from assessing to learning with the aim of putting employers more in control. The standards outline the skills, knowledge and behaviours required to deliver a certain job role and also include an End-point Assessment – a quality mark that checks that the apprentice has gained what they need through the apprenticeship.
As Lisa Williamson explains: “Most apprenticeship standards don’t include mandatory qualifications, so employers and training providers can deliver teaching and learning in any way they wish which is a step in the right direction but has also led to some confusion. At Achieve+Partners we are passionate about supporting training providers and employers through the entire process from implementation of their apprenticeships to delivering the End-point Assessment.
We want to strengthen the industry and give the delivery partners a voice whilst also providing FIESTA with information of what’s happening on the ground to ensure that the continual review and improvement of standards meets the real needs of apprentices and delivery partners.”
As part of the strategic partnership between the two organisations, Achieve+Partners is working with FIESTA on the review and development of nine level 2 apprenticeship standards and also the creation of a new degree level apprenticeship in domestic furniture design. This strategic approach continues FIESTA’s work towards driving skills development and offering attractive and flexible pathways for people of all ages to join and thrive within the industry.