Here’s 5 ways employers can collaborate with their Apprenticeship training provider to ensure their apprentices achieve their qualifications. Completing their Apprenticeship on time means your apprentice has the full set of skills to make significant contributions in the workplace as soon as possible.
1. Create a workplace culture that values ongoing training and development
Employers who provide ample time for training in the workplace understand its critical link to profits and business success. Most apprentice employers are committed to providing regular time for their apprentices to undergo training for their qualifications.
Government guidance for apprentice employers states that apprentices must spend 20% of their working week undergoing off-the-job training linked to their Apprenticeship. An apprentice’s training provider must be able to demonstrate with evidence that this is indeed the case. Some employers worry about this 20% time commitment. However it’s important to note that this 20% can include workplace shadowing, mentoring, industry visits, and attendance at competitions as well as classroom-style off the job learning during working hours – a maximum of 7.5 hours in a typical 37.5 hour working week. A significant proportion of this will be taken up by their attendance at the training provider centre/college for theory and additional training. Many employers provide opportunities for induction and ongoing training for new employees – 20% for apprentices is a similar commitment.
Committing to giving your apprentices their 20% time allocation to training will ensure they become qualified in optimum time, ready to make positive contributions to your business.
2. Appoint a designated apprentice mentor
Select an appropriate member of staff to be your apprentice’s mentor and you greatly improve the apprentice’s chance of completing on time. The sooner they achieve, the sooner they will be ready and qualified to take on responsibilities.
So what does the apprentice mentor do? They play a critical role linking business operations to the apprentice’s training. The mentor can prompt the training provider to train the apprentice in a certain task so they’re ready for forthcoming activity in the business. Generally, the mentor works in partnership with the visiting trainer/assessor to ensure the apprentice is trained effectively in ways that suit the business. Being an apprentice mentor can be a rewarding experience and a way of developing responsibility and people skills in existing staff. A mentor provides pastoral support to the apprentice and acts as a point of contact for the trainer/assessor.
3. Recognise that apprentices are all individuals with different needs
Apprentices, like all employees, have varying strengths and weaknesses. To ensure apprentices achieve their qualifications, it’s vital that their employers recognise these differences which may mean the apprentice needs additional support. Failure to do this decreases the chances of apprentices achieving their qualifications.
For example, an apprentice with dyslexia may struggle to write up observations as part of their Apprenticeship – they’ll need additional support to do this.
Training providers identify areas that apprentices might need help with – like Maths, English or ICT – at an initial assessment diagnosis, alongside specific conditions such as dyslexia. They provide this information to the employer and together they ensure the apprentice gets any additional support they need to complete their qualification.
4. Ensure apprentices attend scheduled training sessions with their provider
Attendance at scheduled training sessions at the provider’s training centre is an important factor. Training is split up into units and subjects. Some aspects are assessed practically and some by examination. If an apprentice has less than 80% attendance on a particular unit or subject it may seriously hinder their achievement rate, and their ability to work and contribute effectively in the workplace. It may also result in failure of examinations.
Employers can help avoid delays and complications by ensuring the apprentice attends their scheduled training sessions with the provider.
5. Committing enough quality time for tutor assessors
Tutor assessors from the provider regularly visit the apprentice in their place of work to carry out assessments and provide them with additional support to progress on their training programme.
In order to support the apprentice effectively, the tutor assessor needs a regular window of quality undistracted time with the apprentice. This should ideally be a 2 hour session every 4 weeks for childcare, and up to 3 hours every 4 weeks for technical support in sectors such as hairdressing.