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National Apprenticeships Service (NAS)

National Apprenticeships Service (NAS)

Being the shop window for a £1 billion Government initiative – re-developing the Apprenticeships website and providing 24x7x365 Support & Maintenance

Digital Strategy, Systems and specification design (inc. prototyping), Requirements, Content, Creative proposition, Information, Architecture (IA), Content audit and strategy, Creative concepts and design, Build, Hosting, Support & Maintenance and ongoing, development, Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity page

Requirement

For a long-time vocational training and Apprenticeships were seen as the ‘bridesmaid’ to the universities’ ‘bride’. This changed in 2008 when the Government announced their intention to provide £1 billion to the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) for the national re-launch of Apprenticeships in England, forming the new National Apprenticeships Service (NAS) to oversee provision and quality. Our challenge was to deliver an enterprise-level site as the public-facing offering for the re-launch programme to a hard 8-week deadline (a national television campaign).

What we did

  • Identified a Content Management System (CMS), project methodology and approach to content provision
  • Architected the user experience (including content matrices, wireframes and user journeys)
  • Designed an immersive and engaging look and feel
  • Installed and configured the Sitecore CMS to specific requirements
  • Engaged with various stakeholders (e.g. the LSC’s Marketing, eCommunications, Policy and IM teams; the hosting provider, Capgemini (who built the programme extranet), content providers (for both copy and video)
  • Provided monthly incremental developments over 2 years including: an interactive Media Gallery; numerous social features; the introduction of a new brand; an automated Newsletters tool; an ROI calculating tool for employers; a marketing collateral suite; a new events section; an FAQ mechanism; an Apprenticeship framework tool; and modular promo boxes for NAS’s wide range of stakeholders amongst many others.
  • Provided a significant retained relationship to deliver Support and Maintenance (S&M) services on a 24 x 7 x 365 basis under an SLA.
  • Developed a Disaster recovery and Business Continuity solution that ensured that the NAS website was up 99.99% of the time. This includes synchronised servers in different physical locations serving the same content, with a load balancer ensuring that no single server becomes over-used.

Value

  • The site was built and launched within eight weeks of authorisation
  • NAS were delighted as the site provides a much more immersive and engaging digital presence
  • Average visits per day were up from 3,074 prior to the new site launch (in November 2008) to 17,316 visits per day by early 2011, demonstrating an increase of 563%
  • 236% year on year improvement in total Apprentice web-forms completed
  • The homepage achieved a Google Page Rank of 7, placing it approximately in the top 99.9996% of all web pages

Client comment

“Panlogic pitched and won the re-development of the flagship www.apprenticeships.org.uk website due to their strategic insight, pro-activity with strategic partners and creative/technical solution. To date our decision has been fully validated with comprehensive project management throughout and senior engagement guiding the solution. Panlogic have shown an absolute ability to work to tight timescales, changing priorities and a demanding client” Senior Policy Manager, Learning and Skills Council

 



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