Since January 2020 every business, regardless of size can register for a digital training account and receive funding to fully cover the training costs of an apprenticeship. Use this time to understand how apprenticeships can develop individuals and contribute to a more productive performance for your business.
Lack of time is the single most important challenge employers, employees and workplace mentors put forward to explain why an apprenticeship is not delivering expectations.
Employers, due to large workloads have often not had time to read and fully understand the learning requirements of an apprentice. They have often read the summary, recognise the value of an apprenticeship and delegate responsibility for recruiting and administering the programme to another person. For apprenticeships to succeed it requires time and effort to read the background material on the defined standards for an apprenticeship and review the measurement of competencies which will be tested through End Point Assessment. Often, the constraints of time have prevented this being a priority for senior managers and employers. The present situation may have created an opportunity to research the apprenticeships you are providing or could provide – www.apprenticeships/gov .The standard for each apprenticeship has been written by your industry. Enter your postcode on the apprenticeships search engine and the system will provide you with a list of every training provider within a defined radius, who are approved to deliver an apprenticeship. A good training provider will help you review your apprenticeship options, explain the programme and demonstrate successful delivery of apprenticeship programmes.
Employees registered as an apprentice will inevitably find a challenge between carrying out employments tasks and completing an apprenticeship training programme. A good training provider will provide a clear individual learning plan, set out a timeline for achievement of knowledge, skills and demonstration of required behaviours to meet the apprenticeship standards. A good training provider will also assess knowledge, set a programme of learning, monitor and report progress. All of this takes time. In the new world, those employed and at home, now can consider and address all parts of the programme which can be completed remotely. Good training providers are quickly adapting to provide remote learning opportunities; webinars, team meetings, training events and one to one meetings. Apprentices will never have a better chance to use time effectively to develop knowledge and communication skills through remote working. Of course, it requires a good learning structure, personal discipline, guidance and effective mentoring through the process. You can finish this chapter of your work journey more informed, more knowledgeable and better able to communicate with people. If you want to develop your knowledge go to www.apprenticeships.gov and find the apprenticeship that will help your knowledge, performance and future business. Stand out from the crowd and make a difference!
Apprenticeship Mentors are often people in a management and line manager role. There is simply no time to juggle all the operational tasks required and pay careful attention to the progress of apprentice you have been assigned. You would need time to read about the apprenticeship standards, the level of competencies required and how they will be tested at End Point Assessment. You will need time to make sure you have enough knowledge of key areas to inform and influence apprentices; to review tutors progress reports, discuss with tutors’ areas for development and then communicate with the apprentice to ensure they are motivated and meeting the task requirements. You will need time to interact with an apprentice and discuss how what they are learning can be applied in the workplace. Successfully completing all the above will reward you with a more engaged employee who is better informed and more able to carry out work effectively. If you are now removed from the day to day operational issues you normally address and can work remotely, why not focus on existing or new apprenticeships? Start by finding out more about the content of each apprenticeship, understand the competencies that will be measured, consider what you can contribute and contact your apprentice.
To make the best use of this time and our own time, we need to do things differently. We need to mobilise around remote learning, understand what is available and find a good training provider to help you through the process. This will require time and effort but could be the best opportunity you have ever had to improve the knowledge and relationship with your employees – don’t miss out!
In these hard times, if your business is going to prevail, succeed and come back even stronger don’t wait for the storm to pass – you need to learn to dance in the rain.