Ahead of the Annual Apprenticeships Conference on 24th April, we share insights on supporting successful 'off the job training'
For all apprenticeship providers a key priority in the development of an apprenticeship programme is designing high quality ‘off the job training’ which supports meaningful skill development and meets the needs of the employer. With all apprenticeship schemes required to offer 20% off the job training outside of the place of work, the standard of this provision is vital to the delivery of a successful programme.
Ahead of the Annual Apprenticeships Conference taking place on April 24th, we thought we would share some insights on what effective ‘off the job training’ looks like.
Meaningful Skill Development
‘Off the job training’ must offer valuable skill progression that is distinctive from the standard working role the apprentice is engaged in. These skills should complement the programme and the career path of the apprentice, whilst also allowing them to be exposed to learning opportunities that wouldn’t necessarily feature in their working duties. For all providers training should be monitored and assessed to ensure the apprentice is progressing and gaining additional skills that are relevant to the employer.
The key to any successful apprenticeship scheme should be focussed around co-production and collaboration with the employer. Effective employer input from the outset will ensure that the training is relevant to the job role and adds value to what the employer is trying to achieve. However, employer collaboration shouldn’t stop there. The apprenticeship programmes delivering the best outcomes, will ensure continued collaboration that ensures the on the job and off the job training complement each other.
In order for the ‘off the job training’ to be compliant, there must be clear differentiation between the training with the provider and the regular working duties. The value of this is that the apprentice is exposed to new experiences and gains additional skills that cannot be provided by the employer.
Apprentices must conduct the 20% ‘off the job training’ within working hours, but there is still significant flexibility in how the training can be delivered. Training could include lectures, conferences, assessments, independent online learning, seminar discussions or even simulation tasks. As such, providers have a lot of room for creativity in what the training programme looks like. Successful apprenticeship schemes will often ensure that the delivery matches the style of the role and the wider objectives of the programme.
Engaging with the Apprentice
Whilst it is vital, to ensure employer needs are met in the delivery of a scheme, it is also essential to listen to the voice of the apprentice. Are they finding the training useful? What are their learning priorities? What are their individual skill needs? What can’t they learn in their day to day duties? Gaining regular feedback and ensuring the input of the apprentice in the enhancement of training provision will ensure everyone is getting the most out of the programme.
To explore these issues in greater depth and hear from a range of experts including Ofsted, Ofqual, the Office for Students and the ESFA join us on 24th April at the Annual Apprenticeships Conference.