Owning the Apprenticeship Programme
The third of our Top 5 Strategies for Apprenticeship Success is dedicated to helping employers to retain control of the apprenticeship programme and its content. All too often, employers report that they feel like the training and development of their apprentices has been outsourced and that they no longer feel like they are in control. It REALLY doesn’t have to be this way!
Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes, leading to nationally recognised qualifications, and which are delivered through a combination of on and off the job training. The delivery of the formal qualifications are typically taught by a training provider, whereas the on the job training is delivered in the workplace by the employer. It is often this element of the fitness industry apprenticeship that has the least structure.
Apprenticeships are not designed to be static programmes – they are highly customisable and flexible, allowing employers to structure them in a way that aligns with their ‘actual’ business needs and priorities. In fact, the only static part of the programme is the mandatory technical certificates which have rigid course content and assessment practices.
The workplace training elements largely relates to the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) and the Functional Skills qualifications, both of which are incredibly flexible and can be structured using real life and work situations. It is here where employers have a great opportunity to ensure that their apprentices are trained and assessed using their own systems, procedures and standards.
Employers must take ownership these programmes if they are to seize the tremendous value that apprenticeships offer to their business. While training providers play a key role in funding the programmes and delivering the the framework, employers must also embrace the programme in its entirety and take a proactive approach to supporting apprentices with their skills development.
One of the many strategies that we use to encourage employers to retain ownership of the apprenticeship is to ensure that they participate in all stages of the planning and review process. Employers are invited to participate in key goal setting sessions, provide feedback on workplace performance, participate in assessments and be involved in the gathering of evidence for portfolio building. The only way that is possible to ensure that the apprenticeship is delivered in-line with the needs of the business is to ensure that the business is actively part of the programme.
If you are thinking about employing an apprentice, and would like to know more about how we could help to make apprenticeships work in your business, feel free to get in touch with our apprenticeship team on 01772 641 091.