BLOG: Response to IFA review of Occupational Maps

AoC Sport’s Policy and Projects Officer Rachel Walker responds to the recent release of the Institute for Apprenticeships’ (IFA) response to the Occupational Maps consultation .

It has been particularly disappointing for the sport and physical activity sector.

With no route of its own, sport and physical activity largely remains a part of the health and science route, with Sports Psychologist being added as an occupation.

However, very little else has changed, which is concerning as sport routes remain ‘apprenticeship only’ options rather than a combination of T-levels and apprenticeships.

CIMSPA’s agreed occupational standards matrix is also not correctly represented in the IFA’s proposed map. This is a major worry for our members especially with the uncertainty around the future of applied general qualification.

For the past decade we have consistently had over 25,000 young people studying a sport and physical activity-related applied general qualification.

Half of these learners then progress to Higher Education and the remainder seek employment. Employers tell us that applied general qualifications do not always provide work-ready employees.

However, closing off this route completely will lead to a lost generation of young people – limiting their options to study sport and physical activity-related qualifications.

In turn, applied generals in sport remain a popular qualification choice, but colleges are worried about the reputational impact that T-Levels will have on applied generals and whether they will be seen as inferior to T-Levels by students and parents.

AoC Sport Policy Manager, Matt Rhodes, added: “Over 20 per cent of responses to the consultation were in the health and science pathway and we know a high percentage of these are from the sport and physical activity sector.

“It is disappointing that it appears these views are not reflected. We will continue to push for further consultation on behalf of our members, with particular emphasis on the following;

  • Where a T Level doesn’t exist, applied generals should continue to be funded.
  • There are number of sports occupations that should be considered technical and therefore should have a T-Level.

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