A YORK-based education apprenticeship and training provider is taking steps to help upskill the education professionals of the future.

Education Pathways, operating as part of the Ebor Academy Trust, have partnered with EPA Plus to become an approved delivery centre for the Early Years Educator apprenticeship standard.

Utilising funds provided through the government’s Apprenticeship Levy, the centre is able to provide high-quality apprenticeship programmes to early years’ educators, school business professionals and teaching assistants for free.

The multi-academy trust, which runs 24 schools across York, Selby, the East Riding of Yorkshire and the Humber and on the Yorkshire Coast is one of only a handful of academy trusts to be delivering apprenticeships in this way and has been praised by schools minister Lord Agnew for its forward-thinking approach to accessing Levy funding.

Sue Hinchcliffe, education apprenticeships director at Ebor, said: “We are incredibly excited at the prospect of being able to contribute to improving outcomes for children by upskilling the education workforce through our new apprenticeship programmes.

“Centre approval for multi-academy trusts is rare, this is primarily something that FE colleges are accredited with.

"Our new delivery centre status means that we can now not only offer apprenticeships to our own staff within the Trust, but we can also offer courses to staff at other multi-academy trusts as well as maintained schools.”

EPA Plus is the end-point assessment arm of educational services charity and awarding organisation, NCFE.

EPA Plus offers both NCFE and CACHE standards across a variety of subject areas including Health, Care, Childcare, Education and Public Services.

Developed in line with the government’s new apprenticeship standards, NCFE’s accredited apprenticeship programmes are supported by sector expertise, guidance documents and proactive customer service.

John Hamilton is senior business development advisor at NCFE.

He said: “We are delighted to be working alongside the Ebor Academy Trust, who we recognise as a strong and forward thinking Trust, as they develop their new apprenticeship offering.

“We are exploring with them a suite of qualifications and training dedicated to the education sector and wish them every success with their new venture.”

For anyone wanting more information about Education Pathways and the Ebor Academy Trust, then visit www.eboracademytrust.co.uk or for more information about EPA Plus, visit www.ncfe.org.uk/end-point-assessment.