Rubitek Founder and CEO Kerry Linley recently had the pleasure of talking to Paul Butler, a true expert in all things apprenticeships, about what makes a good training provider. In this series, we will be calling on Paul’s wisdom to discuss what it takes and what must be considered in order to be an exceptional training provider.
For the purposes of our discussion with Paul, we broke down the journey into three different stages – before delivery, during delivery and after delivery. In this, our second instalment in the series, we talk about everything that goes into being a great training provider during the delivery of the apprenticeship.
(If you missed part one, talking about everything training providers must consider before delivery, you can catch up here.)
During Delivery of the Apprenticeship
Delivering the apprenticeship is seen by many to be when the hard work really begins. How does a great provider start to deliver a service that builds on all of the great work and thinking that went into preparations before delivery? We have listed some key considerations below.
Delivering on Your RoATP Submission
In part one, we spoke at great length about everything that goes into submitting a successful RoATP application. Now is the time to come good on what you promised. Make sure you completely understand what you submitted and what you signed up to offer, especially if your application was composed with the help of an external consultant.
Stay Up to Date
The research doesn’t end after you submit your application. A great training provider is adaptable, so in order to provide the best experience possible to both learners and their employers, you’ll need to stay up to date with all the latest technology, requirements, compliance and so on. For example, you’ll want to make sure you are up to date and compliant with the current Ofsted guidance, or the latest funding rules. Paul recommends subscribing to the ESFA email updates to ensure that you don’t miss anything important.
Work Closely with Employers
Once again, we touched on this in the first instalment. A great training provider works closely with employers. This includes making sure that you seek the employers’ input when planning out programmes, to create and provide an exceptional program that fits not just the relevant standards, but also the employer’s needs. This doesn’t just refer to the apprentice’s 20% off-the-job requirement, or compliance, or making sure you meet the 12-month minimum duration. These things are critical, of course, but you also want to make sure that your service delights employers, especially if you’re hoping for repeat business. If you work closely with employers and give them and their learners a good experience, they will come back for more and continue to choose you in the future.
Furthermore, forging strong communication and a solid relationship with the employer will invariably provide a more positive and coherent experience for the apprentices themselves. Put simply, when delivering an apprenticeship, make sure that what you’re teaching is relevant to the learner’s practical, on-the-job experience. This will not only make more sense to the learner, but make time spent both with you and the employer all the more useful – and with that comes added value. Where possible, you want to make sure that the apprentice will have the opportunity to practise whatever you have taught them as soon as possible, as to most effectively bolster these new skills. For this reason, modular learning may not always be the most effective option and we recommend discussing this with their employer.
Assemble the Best Possible Team
“Decent training delivered by experts.”
It goes without saying, but staffing is hugely important in the making of a great apprenticeship training provider. Make sure you've got a competent team that covers all aspects of every apprenticeship and can deliver these aspects confidently and to a high standard. If an apprentice is going to have the best possible learning experience, they’ll want to be taught by a true subject matter expert.
All of the advice we’ve listed in this article by and large links back to one critical instruction – make sure the service you offer to learners and employers is completely fit for purpose and, as detailed above, there are a number of things that go into this, from compliance and planning to communication and collaboration with the parties involved. From there, a great apprenticeship training provider doesn’t just settle for compliance, or the bare minimum, but is constantly learning and adapting in order to provide an enhanced and valuable experience to learners and employers alike.
For more advice on what makes a great training provider, or if you have any questions regarding what we have discussed in this series so far, contact Rubitek today or see our website for more information.
In the next instalment of this series, we will be talking about what makes a great training provider after the delivery of an apprenticeship. Until then, if you’d like to listen to our full interview with Paul himself, you can do so here.