A Job Well Done: Pareto Mentors Score Highly in Latest Ofsted Review
“Leaders, trainers and skills coaches use their significant industry expertise skilfully to ensure that apprentices embed key concepts in their long-term memory.”
Pareto Law has been providing apprenticeships since January 2017, working with industry leaders helping them assess, place and train their salespeople - training over 150,000 sales professionals across the globe.
Currently, 540 apprentices are studying standards-based programmes across level 3 digital marketer, level 3 team leader/supervisor, level 3 IT technical salesperson, level 4 sales executive, and level 5 operations/departmental manager. Our most popular courses are the level 3 IT technical salesperson and level 4 sales executive apprenticeship.
In October 2018, Ofsted pledged to carry out monitoring visits to all newly directly funded providers of apprenticeship training provision, which began to be funded from April 2017 or after by ESFA and/or the apprenticeship levy. Pareto, the UK’s largest sales training and assessment provider. In March 2021 Ofsted carried out Pareto’s New Provider Monitoring Visit and despite the reverberating effects of the global pandemic achieved reasonable progress in all areas.
“During the periods of COVID-19 (coronavirus) restrictions, directors, leaders, and staff provided remote learning for all apprentices who were furloughed. They continued to provide support for apprentices during this time, ensuring the completion of their apprenticeships.
Leaders also reacted well to the demands of the market, enrolling several apprentices to level 3 IT technical salespeople and level 4 sales executive apprenticeships to meet employers’ expanding business needs.”
Quality of Education
Ofsted inspected the quality of education closely over two days, focusing on how leaders and managers ensured that apprentices benefit from high-quality training, leading to positive outcomes for apprentices.
Pareto skills coaches have good sales sector experience, having partnered with large corporations. Coaches tailored their curriculum after carrying out Skill Scans, “Skills coaches effectively use assessments at the start of the program to plan an individualised curriculum for apprentices.”
The report noted:
“Apprentices routinely develop and apply substantial new knowledge, skills, and behaviours as part of their training and job roles. Level 3 IT technical salesperson apprentices confidently deliver sales presentations. Level 4 sales executive apprentices deepen their understanding of the psychology of negotiation and apply this at work. As a result, they skillfully manage customer conversations to achieve successful sales outcomes.”
Ofsted also highlighted that “Apprentices value the support they receive from skills coaches. Trainers and skills coaches provide useful feedback that highlights to apprentices what they have done well and what they need to do to improve.” At Pareto, every apprentice has access to their own E-track portal, giving learners complete oversight, at any point, about their progress and future lesson topics.
What this means for Apprentices
Ofsted reported, “Apprentices know how important their studies are to their career progression. They aspire to progress to higher-level apprenticeships. Apprentices have clear ambitions to achieve promotion, and most have discussed their career plans with their manager and skill coaches.”
We are proud to have trainers, IQAs and skills coaches that provide effective support to apprentices, allowing them to develop their verbal communication skills. In particular, coaches who provided extra sessions for apprentices that had fallen behind due to the pandemic, focusing on the areas in which they needed support.
As a result of this, Pareto apprentices can “skillfully organise and implement focused sales discussions” allowing our apprentices to have a positive impact and contribute to their workplace.
Leadership and Management
During their report, Ofsted also paid close attention to Pareto’s management team. In particular, how leaders are ensured that they meet all the requirements of a successful apprenticeship provision.
Ofsted noted, “Directors, leaders, and managers know the strengths and weaknesses of their provision.” Indeed, our newly appointed senior leadership team has helped strengthen our knowledge and processes, “there is accurate oversight and evidence of a positive difference”.
Our Senior leaders have clear and measurable targets set in place, supporting the Pareto curriculum and CPD programme. Ofsted commented: “Directors receive information relating to apprentices’ progress and the quality of education from senior leaders and hold them to account. They set clear and measurable targets for senior leaders to achieve, such as strengthening quality assurance of the curriculum”.
Furthermore, Ofsted also noted that the Pareto leadership team had adapted in response to the pandemic “swiftly and successfully”. We were able to respond quickly thanks to our IT management team facilitating and supporting our move to online learning.
Ofsted focused their review on how Pareto Managers ensure that there are effective safeguarding arrangements in place, “Senior leaders implement appropriate procedures to comply with safeguarding legislation”.
Our senior team always completes a range of suitable checks when appointing new staff, making sure they are suitable to work with apprentices. All staff, including our designated safeguarding lead and deputies, receive the appropriate training on safeguarding and ‘Prevent’ duties. The Pareto safeguarding team also includes a board Director.
Ofsted commented: “Apprentices enjoy their learning. They know how to keep themselves safe, including when they are working online. Apprentices know how to report any concerns they may have about themselves or others”.
How Does Pareto Compare With Other Apprenticeship Providers?
An article by Billy Camden detailed that the Ofsted annual report judged many UK apprenticeship providers to be ‘inadequate’, revealing that “Apprenticeships are the “weakest” area of provision in FE providers, with one in ten judged ‘inadequate’ last year”.
The article also notes that nearly a quarter of providers that received new provider monitoring visits had at least one insufficient progress judgement. He cited that this was most often due to inadequate leadership and lack of co-development of the curriculum with employers.
At Pareto Law, our mission is to empower people and businesses worldwide to unleash their potential. Through carefully considered curriculums and coaches with an unrivalled legacy they are willing to share, we’re invested in the future of sales talent.
For further information on Pareto’s Ofsted update, download the full report or speak to our apprenticeship team.