Interview: David Grailey, chief executive at NCFE

Monday, August 24, 2015

The NCFE has just acquired the awarding organisation CACHE.

What are your plans for the future of the organisation?
We’re pleased to have acquired CACHE. We see a strong strategic and cultural fit between our two organisations, and other synergies between our two brands include our purpose, great service, expertise in education, training and assessment, our portfolios and how we design our products, to name a few.
In coming together, we will enhance our service offerings for the benefit of both centres and learners, and share expertise to help each other to grow and diversify. We’ll be providing support in areas relating to digital and influence in the sector, ensuring that the CACHE brand and standard of qualifications that it’s renowned for continue to thrive.

What does NCFE offer for students considering a career in early years?
We have a strong portfolio of qualifications in health and social care, which are sectors that CACHE has recently entered. The acquisition of CACHE will enable us to expand our current offering in early years and give both organisations’ learners the opportunity to achieve valuable work skills through more qualifications.  CACHE’s portfolio is sector-leading, especially in Early Years Educator (EYE) qualifications, which train learners to the highest of standards in preparation for working at Level 3 with children from birth to five years of age. By working with CACHE and benefiting from its expertise, we’ll be looking to build on our offer in this sector going forward.

How have the GCSE requirements for EYE qualifications affected recruitment onto courses?
While we don’t have access to providers’ specific course enrolment figures, we are aware from discussion with customers that recruitment has dropped slightly.
Learners who hadn’t achieved their GCSEs and had undertaken a Level 2 apprenticeship – plus achieved their functional skills – with a view to progressing to Level 3 may be disadvantaged by the new GCSE requirement, and there are concerns that this could limit progression opportunities in the sector. There may also be an impact on independent training providers who are unable to offer GCSEs alongside the EYE, but the full effects of the new requirements are still to be seen.

What other developments do you have in the pipeline?
We’re constantly reassessing the needs of customers and learners, and developing qualifications and resources that meet them. Our main focus at the moment is getting to know CACHE and its qualification portfolio, and by working together we will grow both brands over the coming months and years.

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