Kwik Fit gains Ofsted outstanding rating, again
At the end of May Kwik Fit received Ofsted’s highest possible ranking for its apprenticeship scheme. The company has been graded Level 1 (Outstanding), following the inspection in April. The publication of the inspection report comes as Kwik Fit announces that it is opening applications for 100 apprentices to join the company in August, having already taken on 100 employees on its apprenticeship programme earlier this year.
In the Ofsted report the overall effectiveness of the Kwik Fit apprenticeship scheme received a Grade 1, as did each of the sub categories of the inspection: outcomes for learners; quality of teaching, learning and assessment; and effectiveness of leadership and management.
This is a significant achievement as in Ofsted’s most recent full year of inspections, 364 learning providers were inspected with only 5 per cent achieving Grade 1 (Outstanding), none of which were employers providing training. The highest grade attained by an employer in this period was Grade 2 (Good).
The inspectors reviewing Kwik Fit found that “apprentices benefit from high but realistic expectations and are well challenged by tutors and assessors to produce work to high levels of accuracy and quality, with a strong focus on customer needs and safe working practices.” The report also highlighted the outstanding information and guidance apprentices receive about their training and career progression.
Crucially the report highlighted the combination of classroom, training workshop and in centre activity, stating that “very knowledgeable and experienced tutors and assessors plan very good training that involves centre managers well, with particularly good links between theory and practice.”
The company’s programme develops employees far beyond the standard requirements, with Kwik Fit apprentices achieving twice as many vocational credits as required by the apprenticeship framework.
The new vacancies are being offered at Kwik Fit centres across the UK, providing opportunities for many school leavers to work close to home and take a valuable first step on a career in the automotive sector. Almost nine out of ten apprentices stay on at Kwik Fit at the end of their apprenticeship and many participants progress to senior levels within the company.
Paul Binks, head of learning and development at Kwik Fit, said: “This grading is a resounding endorsement of the huge investment we have made in our learning and development programme and our commitment to be a leader in the sector. Apprentices are vital to our business as they develop into the future leaders of the company.
“We provide a structured training mix of classroom theory, workshop practice and on the job coaching for our apprentices who are appointed into permanent roles. This gives them major advantages over those following purely classroom based courses and allows them to quickly develop the right skills for a long term career.”
Kwik Fit has four training academies in Derby, Harlow, Reading and Broxburn. A Kwik Fit Apprenticeship lasts around two years and provides a total of 91 Learning credits. This favourably compares with the minimum requirement of 60 Learning credits delivered in a typical equivalent course carried out in a college environment.
It is not the first time Kwik Fit had attained the outstanding rating, there are records to show that the well-known fast fit’s course was rated this highly at least as far back as 2008.