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Dec 16

Apprenticeship Standards: Why you should get involved

Posted: 1 December 2016

Pete's blog photo

Apprenticeship project manager, Pete Barron tells us why everyone in adult social care should be involved in the new standards  

We were delighted to host an event to launch the four adult care Apprenticeship standards this week as the development of the standards had reached a tipping point.

Thanks for getting the standards to this point goes in particular to a dogged group of employers over almost three years, but also to a number of awarding organisations and learning providers. Our support work has been funded by the Department of Health (DH) with highly specialised support from our Skills Funding Agency (SFA) relationship manager, and from assessment consultant Chris Cherry.

An Apprenticeship is a job with investment from the learner and employer into future success but the employer also gets a worker from the start. Yes, part of the deal – as is currently the case – will be that the employer must allow their apprentice to spend 20% of their salaried time on uninterrupted, off-the-job learning, but this does not necessarily have to be in a traditional setting. It is part of the investment in the worker’s and employer’s future.

The pay back in quality of service delivery and satisfaction of people who use the services if an Apprenticeship is well delivered is massive.

Yes, the new standards require the apprentice to successfully pass through an independent end-point test, but if the employer and learning provider prepare the apprentice well, the tests will enhance quality and raise the apprentice’s self-confidence.

So, in summary, why do we think adult social care employers should use the new Apprenticeship standards?

  • They are an ideal way of filling vacancies. Our current estimates are that there 90,000 vacancies in the adult social care sector at any one time.
  • This is a way of raising quality. Measured delivery of qualifications and patient embedding of the competencies in the standard are designed to prepare the apprentice for a rigorous and independent end-point test.
  • There are now many government financial incentives to taking on 16-18 year olds. Pilot projects we have run to encourage employers to explore this option have resulted in high levels of satisfaction with the energy, novel ideas and enthusiasm of new young workers.
  • For existing employees, doing an Apprenticeship gives the employer an opportunity to undertake succession planning and retain good workers by moving them up the career ladder.
  • For levy-paying employees, this is an efficient means of getting a return on what you pay to government.
  • For those in the public sector, the standards allow you to fulfil your requirement to recruit 2.3% of your workforce as apprentices.
More information can be found at www.skillsforcare.org.uk/newstandards