The world of apprenticeships is set to change from May 1, 2017 and while there is much focus on how apprenticeships will be funded in this new realm, the move from frameworks to standards is just as significant.

New standards mean that employers will have the reassurance of apprentices working towards criteria that has been pre-defined by other employers within their sector, based on industry needs which create a high-standard of transferrable skills, knowledge and behaviours within the workplace. Apprentices will also have the confidence that they will be properly trained by both their employer and an industry expert to help them develop into a more able and competent member of staff with every opportunity to progress and add value to any business. Both can be certain that with the introduction of an end point assessment, apprentices will need to develop in their roles to be able to demonstrate their competence at the end of their learning journey. With this in mind, the employer’s role in the learner journey becomes even more powerful than before.

The first step after matching a suitable apprenticeship to an apprentice’s job-role is to plan with the employer how the SFA requirement for 20% of working hours to be ‘off-the-job’ can be achieved to the maximum benefit of the apprentice. Off-the-job-training has been defined by the SFA as follows:

  • “Learning which is undertaken outside of the normal day-to-day working environment and leads towards the achievement of the apprenticeship. This can include training that is delivered at the apprentice’s normal place of work but must not be delivered as part of their normal working duties.”
  • The off-the-job training must be directly relevant to the apprenticeship framework or standard and could include the following:
    • The teaching of theory (for example lectures, role playing, simulation exercises, online learning or manufacturer training).
    • Practical training such as shadowing; mentoring; industry visits and attendance at competitions.
    • Learning support and time spent writing assessments/ assignments.

In terms of off-the-job training, at Interserve Learning & Employment we have made substantial investments behind the scenes which will enable us to support employers in taking their apprentices through this different type of journey.  Over the last few years, we have been introducing incremental changes to bring about emphasis around teaching and learning, creating additional value for each and every one of our apprentices. We are constantly working towards making sure our frontline delivery teams are fully prepared to pass on their specialist industry knowledge and experience and are starting to see new opportunities for qualified teaching roles to be introduced within our organisation.

The Training & Development Officers are our new generation of Trainer Assessors in the new world, all holding a recognised teaching qualification as well as subject specific qualifications at a higher level or have subject related industry experience for a minimum of three years. This resource, along with a series of highly developed delivery models for each of our subject areas will equip our apprentices with everything they need to succeed in their journey. A range of teaching and learning methods will be delivered – from interactive webinars to one-to-one sessions; from writing research assignments to using a virtual online college, there is something to suit everyone.

As the National Apprenticeship Service summarises perfectly, “to get your career started you usually need a combination of experience and qualifications. An apprenticeship gives you both by combining on the job training with study meaning you can earn while you learn. With some apprenticeships you can even get a degree”. www.getingofar.gov.uk/apprenticeships

To be an apprentice is a brilliant start to any career and requires as much commitment and hard work as a college or University student. To take on an apprentice is a fantastic investment that any employer can bring to their business, also requiring commitment to reap the benefits.

Interserve Learning & Employment has already invested in being committed to supporting this journey and is ready to work with you. If you would like any more information about our apprentice vacancies, apprenticeship programmes or opportunities to work for us, get in touch.

Angela Kaine
Head of Sector at Interserve Learning & Employment