The Thermal Insulation Contractors Association (TICA) has been praised by Ofsted for creating an inclusive learning environment, which allows apprentices to “develop and flourish.”
Inspectors who visited the TICA training facilities over three days during October rated it as ‘good’ across all five areas: overall effectiveness, quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management, and apprenticeships.
TICA, which formed in 1957, provides access to the best industry training for levy-funded apprentices throughout the UK at its National Training Centre in Darlington.
At the time of the Ofsted inspection, it had 153 apprentices enrolled on its apprenticeship programmes – 43 on the Level 3 standard for industrial thermal insulation technicians, and 110 on the Level 2 standard for commercial industrial thermal insulation operatives.
The report said that the training is conducted in “very well-resourced workshops” with trainers, many of whom are time-served thermal insulator technicians, while describing the level of practical work produced by apprentices as “very high.”
It praised the trade member organisation for designing a “well-planned and sequenced curriculum” that ensures apprentices build up strong skills over time.
The report added: “Leaders have achieved this by working closely with employers to devise bespoke training that meets the principles and requirements of the apprenticeship programme.
“Employers benefit from and are right to value the training that their apprentices receive and recognise the positive contributions that apprentices make to the business.”
Apprentices attend training on a residential basis for two weeks every three months which, the inspection team said, “allows them to be taught substantial new knowledge and skills while working on projects with like-minded committed apprentices.”
It added that: “Trainers support apprentices well” and provide “effective feedback” on the quality of their work and should an apprentice be identified as struggling, they receive “effective additional support.”
It concluded that the programme leaders have created “an inclusive environment in which all apprentices are able to develop and flourish.”
Marion Marsland, chief executive of TICA, said: “I’m delighted that the inspectors acknowledged our high standards, excellent training facilities, and the effectiveness of our programmes that allow apprentices to quickly gain both practical skills and valuable technical knowledge.
“It is also gratifying to note that TICA has developed an effective curriculum that promotes a positive and supported attitude to learning. I hope this Ofsted rating further highlights the exceptional training we provide and encourages more apprentices into the industry to help solve an historic skills shortage.”