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Exciting New Project Announcement - Using AI to Improve Apprenticeship Achievement Rates

The Knowledge Ladder are proud to announce a new project to develop a machine learning algorithm to predict if apprentices are likely to withdraw later on in their programme so that staff can provide early intervention and support to help and support apprentices and to improve retention and achievement


There are proven links between data science and organisation performance -

A respected report from Wegener & Sinha showed that organisations that leverage data analytics are twice as likely to be in the top quartile of financial performers and another from McKinsey & Company showed that these "data mature" firms increase pre-tax profits by 20%

However, some sectors and organisations have not yet embraced the advantages and benefits that data science can deliver and it is the mission of The Knowledge Ladder to deliver affordable, accessible, agile data science to overlooked sectors including education to help them to catch up with organisations like Google and Facebook who routinely reap the rewards.


The National Achievement Rate Tables (NARTS) show that on average just 64.7% of apprentices achieve leaving 35.3% who fail to achieve.

Increasing apprenticeship achievement has the potential to increase the life-chances of apprentices and to improve outcomes for employers and the wider economy as well as improving quality and financial outcomes for apprenticeship providers.

Further Education colleges are particularly well placed to leverage machine learning to improve attendance as they have a wealth of high-quality data in their MIS systems that could be augmented with publicly available datasets to enable accurate predictions to be made.

At present the indicators are typically lagged (like a sudden dip in attendance or grades) meaning that by the time they are noticed the apprentice cannot be supported to achieve.

The objective is to provide predictive lead measures and to target an initial improvement in achievement of 2.5% rising to 5% in years 2-3


The Knowledge Ladder have agreed project scope with Lincoln College and are also in active discussion with other partners to form a group of collaborators that can make this project a success.

A proof of concept has been completed and the time is now right for The Knowledge Ladder and Lincoln College to start this ambitious and potentially highly beneficial project.

Accurate predictions require a significant investment in scoping, understanding, acquiring and analysing the data hence the timeframe from start to implementation will be 1 year. However, lessons learnt along the way will inform quick wins to deliver interim outcomes as soon as possible.


The mission of The Knowledge Ladder is ...

To deliver affordable, accessible, agile data analytics and data science to all organisations regardless of sector, size, turnover or experience”

... and this project is an ideal opportunity to deliver against that vision and to improve outcomes for apprentices, employers, colleges and the wider economy.

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