Tag Archives: education

Apprenticeship over education?

16 Mar

More and more young people are opting to do pursue an apprenticeship rather than a degree and if you’re aged between 16-24 and don’t have a higher qualification then it’s a fantastic option.

Often people will dismiss apprenticeships due to their pay rate, however the rate of pay can be quite surprising. Although the minimum apprenticeship wage stands at £3.30, the average wage during an apprenticeship is £170 a week with many companies paying up to £270. Studies* also show that on average those who have attended an apprenticeship earn nearly £4000 more a year than graduates. You’ll get paid for learning and gaining qualifications without the student debt at the end of it!

Whilst being in education is great, doing an apprenticeship will give you valuable experience to add to your CV – which employers look for. A Government survey also showed that 85% of apprentices said their ability to do the job had improved and 83% said their career prospects had improved.

So with 90% of apprentices staying in employment (7/10 of those with the same employer) what are you waiting for?! Have a look at the government guide to applying for apprenticeships and bag your dream role today.

How to write a winning apprenticeship application:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/442593/How-to-write-winning-application.pdf

 

*http://www.onrec.com/news/statistics-and-trends/apprentices-earn-almost-%C2%A34000-more-than-graduates-year-in-first-job

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How is an Education and Training course beneficial?

5 Jun

My name is Ann and I teach and assess the level 3 Award in Education and Training for Opportunity Plus. There are a few people out there who have never heard of this qualification and quite a few more who reckon it’s of no use to them as they do not want to work in education.

Well, here’s my view on it:

Firstly, it’s a very enjoyable course, particularly when taken as part of a group. It’s my favourite thing to teach. It’s a great confidence booster and you do learn lots about yourself, as well as the topic. Taking part in the micro teach sessions as a learner is fun and also gives you a chance to learn about things you would not normally consider.

TeachingIf you have ever thought about teaching, or have skills that you would like to share with others it’s a fantastic starting point to a new career, or a stand alone qualification on its own. I got my first teaching job at a college due to possessing this qualification.

However the knowledge and confidence you gain can be put to good use in so many other ways. Are you a manager who regularly holds staff meetings which involves giving instructions? Are you a senior manager whose middle managers might benefit from having this short and useful qualification when dealing with their staff, looking at equality, diversity, individual need and different ways to make information giving fun and meaningful?  This course can give you a basic knowledge of how different individuals learn and respond, and ways to support those who struggle

Why not find out more by contacting our course support team on 0800 045 2440

A Micro-Teach experience – (Education and Training Course)

28 May

As part of the Education and Training course, all learners are required to conduct a Micro-Teach. A Micro-Teach assesses the more practical side of teaching – running a lesson.

This process may seem incredibly daunting to some (including myself at the time) but it’s in fact a great learning experience and thoroughly enjoyable.

I’m the kind of person who’s cheeks will rapidly become a deep shade of red just at the thought of addressing an audience. So the idea of teaching a class of adults really had me biting my nails. However, there was much more to it then standing and stuttering in front of my peers.

There is such a variety of talent within an Education and Training group so you are not given boundaries as to what you must teach in your class, and are encouraged to choose something you have good knowledge on or a hobby. I personally have a background in Art so for me it was an easy choice, at least that’s what I thought until I realised how broad this was.

Seemingly throughout this panic period I had forgotten the importance of planning within the teaching role. Everything started to come into place once we had been given a detailed example of a Micro-Teach lesson plan. Seeing the plan enabled me to think logically about each time slot of the 20 minute lesson and how I could fill it with something beneficial and relevant. Learners are to be engaged by the lesson and get fully involved, so I didn’t have to just stand at the front talking. In fact, it should be 70/30 Learner to teacher activity.

In the end I decided I would hold my Micro-Teach on speed portrait drawing, as this meant I could get everybody involved whilst fitting it into the small time frame. I was lucky that I had a background in such a practical activity as it made the ratio of talking and involvement easier to fulfil. When it came to the day itself there were still some lingering nerves but when I got started with my plan in close proximity it was all worth it.

If you prepare what you’re going to do and your subject then the Micro-Teach can be such a fun experience. The thing to remember is that all your learners on the day are going to be going through the same worried states and will be completely supportive of one another as they are in the same boat. Having the opportunity to watch the other teachers is also a fascinating part of the day and you may even leave with a lot extra knowledge.

All in all, do not fear the Micro-Teach, embrace it and enjoy all the possibilities it has!
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Please contact us if you want to know how to start an Education and training course.

Education and Training

20 May

Are you a hairdresser? A holistic therapist? An artist? Have you got a skill you could teach to others?

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This four day course serves as an introductory teaching qualification enabling learners to take their first step into adult education. It’s a very participatory and interactive course, and you will gain confidence in a variety of group activities, as well as finding out about inclusive learning, planning sessions and assessment.

“It’s one of the most enjoyable courses I’ve ever attended – really well organised and delivered.”

– JR, (a recent learner) 

Benefits of the course:

– Increase career opportunities
– Expand your current services
– Increase confidence and motivation
– Run your own workshops
– Self-employment opportunities

Our next course is running on the 12th, 13th, 19th and 20th of June in our Newton Abbot Training Centre. For more information or to book a place please email us at info@opsw.co.uk or call 0800 043 2440.

Payment can be made securely by BACS or debit/credit card.

Sheila Robb House,
Oak Place,
Lower Queen Street,
Newton Abbot,
Devon
TQ12 2EX

10% off with this code: OPSWJN14

Please note: You may be eligible for funding if you are in receipt of a work related benefit.

Ann Kinsey

Ann has a wealth of experience in the welfare to work sector, supporting people to find work or self-employment. Being part of a very successful employment-support team in Devon, she then went to the Thames Valley area to assist in the start-up of the Work Programme.

Ann has enjoyed her work tutoring young people, as well as her extensive voluntary contribution including running village football teams, arranging and raising funds for a tour of America, enabling young people to gain confidence, self-esteem and many new skills. She has also owned and managed a very successful Pub and Restaurant business in mid Devon. 

More recently she has worked for Exeter College as a programme coordinator and associate lecturer, delivering sessions in Functional Skills to young people, and Employability skills to adults.

“I really enjoy delivering the Education and Training Award course. There is so much variety and I get to meet some great people.”

Interview: Moo Music

17 May

Logo with Background

Moo Music is a pre school music opportunity now available nationally. Opportunity Plus spoke to ideas man Ant Parker and franchisee Ali Hider to find out about their experiences of self-employment and setting up a business.

How did Moo Music get started?

Ant: We decided to create Moo Music as a business opportunity when my wife Jess and I were bringing up our two daughters, Hannah and Eve. We noticed a distinct lack of good quality and wholesome children’s music. Being musicians ourselves we eventually had enough of the poor quality and cheaply recorded children’s songs and commissioned a professional children’s songwriter to write and record a series of songs.

The brief was that they had to be positive, uplifting, fun and educational. They also had to be recorded properly with real instruments, lots of vocal harmonies and most importantly… adults had to enjoy the listening experience as well as the children! It didn’t take long to realise that these songs needed sharing and that other parents in the area were crying out for something similar.

Having said that the aim of Moo Music is not only to give 0 to 5 year olds some fantastic experiences with music but to give young mums the opportunity to start and run a flexible business when their own children start school.

Ali: Ant is my brother and he had the idea a long time ago. He created Moo Music over time but then needed someone to actually put the sessions and ideas into practice, so that’s where I came in. I have always worked with children in various settings from private homes to nurseries/schools and I have a huge passion for music so this suited me perfectly!

Ant Jess Hannah Eve Web Res

What is your role within the business?

Ant: I do the general admin for the business – accounts – sales – licensing – marketing – business help – franchisee motivation – stock ordering etc. Jess does the packing up and sending of stock and also helps with the ‘help and support’ for the franchisees.

Ali: I am primarily a franchisee of the business but I also act as an advisor and trainer for the new franchisees. This involves people coming to observe my sessions and question/answer forums. I also attend festivals and other events to promote Moo Music. We are hoping to do a Moo Music live event in the city with a live band! Very exciting…

How have you gone about marketing the business?

Ant: Moo Music has only been available nationally since January this year. Before that it was only available to friends and friends of friends etc.

Since launching nationally we use Google ‘Pay Per Click’ and all of our sales so far have come from this. I have also taken out a year’s advertising with www.femalefranchise.co.uk which has brought is a few leads but no sales yet. I do have a mail-out scheduled with them in June so that should see the best results.

I will also start Facebook Ads soon. The beauty of Google PPC and Facebook is that you can market to a very tight potential customer base and only pay pence if they click on the links. The Google PPC takes them to the following video www.letsmakemoomusic.co.uk and if they are interested enough to carry on and watch the second video we have their email address so can engage in a conversation.

Ali: I market the business in a variety of ways including ads in local magazines and newspapers. House to house leaflet dropping, Moo Music magnets all over my car! Leaflets in school/nursery book bags also notice boards, however I have to say that “word of mouth” is the most effective. I started with two children in a small hall and a year on I have 90 children over 9 sessions!

What are the benefits of being self-employed?

Ant: Flexibility and a sense of worth!

Ali: I can work the business around my family easily and other projects that I’m involved in, in the local community. It’s is extremely satisfying to see something grow so rapidly and successfully.

What personal qualities would you say are needed for self-employment?

Ant: Be strong minded and believe in yourself. Be nice to people. Remember that no one knows your business better than you do or will ever be as bothered about it as you.

Ali: I would say you need to be hard working, reliable, focused, patient, approachable and fun! I have also had to learn to be a bit more assertive which has been quite hard at times when I’m not naturally like that.

Ali Hider with a Class Web Res

What advice would you give to someone considering self-employment?

Ant: It definitely gives you flexibility but it will be hard work. It’s very hard to ‘switch off’ mentally even if you have a separate workspace. Most people will advise you not to… but you’ll find these people are the ones stuck in their day jobs earning money for someone else! If you have a dream… Go for it!

Ali: I would say get the right people around you to support you and who understand your vision. Find others who are in a similar position. Network!

What are your plans for the future of the business?

Ant: We’d like to get Moo Music spread as far around the UK as possible and are aiming for 100 separate areas. We have 10 so far.

Ali: I have 3 postcodes to work in and as the business continues to grow, I plan to take on freelance staff to run sessions for me so I can concentrate on expanding the business. However, as long as I am able to, I want to be running the sessions as that’s really where my heart is. Maybe I will need to employ an admin person too!

You can  find out more about Moo Music by visiting their website http://www.moo-music.co.uk and following them on Facebook and Twitter.

Education and Training

6 Apr

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This four day course replaces the former PTLLS award and serves as an introductory teaching qualification enabling learners to develop knowledge and skills in Teaching and Learning. It is very participatory and interactive, and you will gain confidence in addressing groups of people over the 4 days, as well as finding out about inclusive learning, planning sessions and assessment.

“It’s one of the most enjoyable courses I’ve ever attended – really well organised and delivered.”

– JR, (a recent learner) 

Skills learned:

– First steps into Adult tutoring
– Increased career opportunities.
– Expanded services to offer.
– Experienced at planning and delivering teaching sessions.
– Helpful tips/information.

Opportunity Plus UK, Newton Abbot, TQ12 2EX
Special Offer Price: £230 (usually £350)
Payment can be made securely by debit/credit card, cheque, or cash by calling into our Teignbridge office. See below for contact  details.

How to Register: Email us at info@opsw.co.uk or call 0800 043 2440 to book your place.

Ann Kinsey

1 Ann
Ann has a wealth of experience in the welfare to work sector, supporting people to find work or self-employment. Being part of a very successful employment-support team in Devon, she then went to the Thames Valley area to assist in the start-up of the Work Programme.

Ann has enjoyed her work tutoring young people, as well as her extensive voluntary contribution including running village football teams, arranging and raising funds for a tour of America, enabling young people to gain confidence, self-esteem and many new skills. She has also owned and managed a very successful Pub and Restaurant business in mid Devon. 

More recently she has worked for Exeter College as a programme coordinator and associate lecturer, delivering sessions in Functional Skills to young people, and Employability skills to adults.

“I really enjoy delivering the Education and Training Award course. There is so much variety and I get to meet some great people.”

Supporting the wider community

26 Mar

In our work with Opportunity Plus, we have come across some truly fantastic community centres and groups, and we want to share some of the great work that is happening out there.

Does your community group need some support? 

Here are some of the things that we can do for you:

  • Create a Facebook page for your community and teach you how to use it
  • Offer free face painting at fundraising and other events
  • Feature you on our blog.
  • Get in touch to see how we could help your centre.

Balloons

Balloons work with bereaved children in the Exeter area to help them through the grieving and healing process.  They have volunteering opportunities available and offer full training.  Find out more at www.balloonscharity.co.uk

The Hub Yeovil

The Hub Yeovil is a community centre working with disabled people.  They run a range of microenterprises to teach members valuable life and enterprise skills.  www.thehubyeovil.co.uk

Healthy Babies UK

Healthy Babies UK provide training to healthcare professionals, children’s centre staff, nursery workers and mothers to support the health, development, and wellbeing of babies and young children.  www.healthy-babies-uk.org

The Money Advice Service

If you have any questions about money – investments, debt, budgeting – then the Money Advice Service can help.  Call them on 0300 500 5000 for free advice and support.

Training

The Education and Training Level 3 course has replaced the old Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Sector qualification, and enables you to teach anything that you are qualified or experienced in to adults (16+).  Information, Advice and Guidance is another useful qualification for the community sector.  Call us or email info@opsw.co.uk for more information.

What community centres do you use?  Why not visit your local centre to find out more about what they do and get involved!  Check out www.do-it.org or your local CVS office to find out if there are any volunteering opportunities near you.