Apprenticeships used to be the only way for young people to learn a skills-based trade or get into particular industries. That is no longer the case with many employers now utilising apprenticeships to help develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours in their existing workforce.
However, a majority of employers do not perhaps recognise the huge benefits and opportunities that apprenticeships present. For large employers, with the apprenticeship levy to spend, is it not the time to review your internal training needs to see how an apprenticeship programme might benefit a wide range of staff.
In our last article, we talked about how many levy-paying employers are not utilising their funds and how it was revealed that there was £2.9 billion unspent from the employers’ apprenticeship service accounts at the end of September 2018.
So what are the benefits of training your employees using apprenticeship as opposed to a more traditional qualification programme?
The new employer-led Standards are sector specific and set the benchmark for the required Skills, Knowledge and Behaviours for given roles within your business. Your training provider will then be able to develop an apprenticeship delivery model around your specific organisational needs. With the behaviours and wider soft skills development, it is the whole person approach of an apprenticeship that sets it apart from a straight classroom/assignment qualification model.
Apprenticeships are also now under Ofsted’s remit and the quality of the programme for the learner and their own experiences are their focus. Training providers have to be far more rigorous and thorough in the new levy and Standard apprenticeship world with the focus on the quality of the journey to acquire new skills and knowledge.
The Standard apprenticeship model is an excellent way of increasing the skills and knowledge from top to bottom and across all departments and functions in an organisation. Many people across large companies have often not had any formal training and development and have been shown how to do their role so ownership may not be as strong as it might. Apprenticeships enable the individual to obtain the right skills in line with sector standards and fully understand the processes of the organisation to improve efficiency and effectiveness. Apprenticeships are not what they used to be and are now, in fact, an intensive training and qualification opportunity.
At Watertrain, we help organisations in the water utility sector to enhance the skill level of their workforce through apprenticeships that have a greater alignment to internal working practices. This adds value and helps achieve greater business benefit through more process focussed training.
The Level 3 Water Process Technician Apprenticeship is currently being utilised by a range of water companies across the country. Consisting of five different pathways across the operational disciplines the apprenticeship enable the whole team to raise their knowledge and skills to the new nationally agreed benchmark.
The Institute for Apprenticeships announced on 4th December 2018 that they will be reviewing the Funding Band for the Level 3 Water Process Technician Standard over the coming weeks with a conclusion by early summer 2019. The IFA is looking at reducing funding bands, so Watertrain will be working with clients in the review process to ensure an appropriate funding band is secured for this very important provision.