How to choose the best apprenticeship training provider
Posted on 15th December 2022 at 14:49
Choosing a training provider – it’s not as simple as it looks, is it? We offer some simple advice to make this process as clear and easy as possible for you.
Quick overview of Apprenticeships
With apprenticeships comes jargon, so let us help you.
Apprenticeship, Diploma, Qualification? Let’s deal with what an Apprenticeship ‘Standard’ is – “Apprenticeship standards show what an apprentice will be doing and the skills required of them, by job role. Standards are developed by employer groups known as 'trailblazers'.” Essentially they are a list of knowledge, skills and behaviours.
EPA – End Point Assessment (the final assessment after the training)
OTJ - Off the Job Training – minimum 6 hours a week
A full glossary of terms is available from IfATE.
Deciding what you need
First, we need to think about what you want and need. Ask yourself, what exactly are your organisational needs and what is the culture of your organisation? You’re looking to find the right programme for you and your team.
Before you decide on your provider, have a think about:
Why are you looking at apprenticeships? Do you want to recruit new staff or upskill existing?
What programmes / standards do you want to offer? Do you know what’s out there and what will work for your business? There are so many to choose from! Institute for Apprenticeships Apprenticeship Search
Do you pay the apprenticeship levy, or do you need to consider funding?
Are your line managers engaged in the process?
Do your staff know what’s involved? (off the job, Functional Skills)
Find the right apprenticeship provider
If you don’t already have a provider in mind, take a look at which providers offer the apprenticeships standards you’re interested in through Find Apprenticeship Training.
Or, perhaps you’ve had a recommendation or suggestion from another business about who to contact to deliver your apprenticeships so you can go to them directly or be referred.
Choosing the right apprenticeship training provider or deciding on apprenticeships as an option for your organisation’s training needs can appear a difficult and slightly confusing world. With so many different providers and programmes and variables to consider, finding what is best for your business and your teams can seem daunting.
Here we explain the most important factors to consider when looking for a high quality apprenticeship training provider. It’s important to find a provider that delivers the best quality of training in a way that fits your company culture and supports you.
Things to look for when choosing a new apprenticeship training provider:
Do they cover your geographical area?
Can your programme be delivered in the way that suits you? (Virtual / Workplace / Offsite)
Can the provider work with you to adapt resources and training materials?
Does the provider have experience in the areas you are most interested in?
What do employers say about them in their reviews on Find Apprenticeship Training
How does Ofsted rate their training? All Training providers are inspected by Ofsted and given a quality grade of Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement or Inadequate in their Ofsted report. Find provider report
What’s the on-boarding process like?
What support will you get once the learners are on board? How will you track learner progress?
Can you speak to someone with your initial questions before deciding if they are the right provider for you?
What’s the website/social media like? Can you see testimonials from previous employers and learners?
What added value services do they offer?
Can they support you with recruitment and any funding admin?
What experience and qualifications do the trainers have? Are they employed directly?
What reporting tools are available?
What support can they offer you with marketing the programme?
What is the provider’s culture, and does it fit with yours?
Have a chat to the provider. Get to know a little bit about them and what they offer and more importantly, what they can do for you.
A good apprenticeship training provider also:
• checks the eligibility of the apprentice and barriers to learning, to ensure the programme right for them,
• is compliant with all of your checks,
• can develop a suitable training plan,
• ensures funding is correct (for example, considering prior learning and length of programme),
• ensures off the job training is delivered correctly and that they can administer the programme.
• Communicates frequently and supports you
You’re looking for a partnership to give you and your team the best chance of a successful apprenticeship programme.
Ask questions! Find out as much as you can before making a choice - they are there to help you.
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