Sep 18

Apprenticeships: a valuable approach to developing your workforce

Posted: 20 September 2018

The last couple of years have seen some big changes for apprenticeships, leaving employers facing a number of challenges.

It’s taking the sector some time to adapt to the introduction of the new apprenticeship standards and new requirements, like end-point assessment and 20% off-the-job training.

However, despite all the changes and challenges employers are facing, apprenticeships can still play a very important role in the development of your workforce.

They’re a great way to develop the skills and knowledge of your workforce providing a combination of on-the-job learning supported by off-the-job or theory based learning. They can be used as a recruitment tool or succession planning for your existing workforce and the investment in this learning leads to a better trained, more committed workforce, ultimately leading to higher retention rates.

Sona Peskin, of Creative Support, became the first apprentice to complete the Adult Care Worker standard this year.

I fell into the role of care worker by accident and after only a week of doing the job I decided I thoroughly enjoyed it. Caring for people is very fulfilling and rewarding. I wanted to do the apprenticeship as this meant I had a better grounding in care work and I could put what I learned into practice.

I found the apprenticeship study material very interesting and my assessor was a great help in organising the study material and coordinating my working hours to enable time to study.

The aspect that I enjoyed the most about my apprenticeship was how relevant it was to the work I was doing. It was very easy to put the theory into practice.

The exam I took was excellent as you had to make decisions about real life scenarios that you could encounter in care, so it was very practical. I liked the idea that you had to answer exam questions as it gave more credibility to the qualification.

All apprentices now have to be assessed at the end of their apprenticeship by an independent assessment organisation. While there have been some concerns from employers that this could be off-putting for apprentices, it provides a robust assessment robust so you can be confident in the quality of the learning.

Sona Peskin acknowledged that,

The end-point assessment was a bit scary as you had to have an in-depth interview with someone you didn’t know over Skype but it went better than I anticipated.

It’s safe to say Sona enjoyed her apprenticeship as she’s now moved on to her Level 3 Lead Adult Care Work standard which she hopes to complete this year.

I enjoy learning new things and keeping abreast with developments in the care sector. Even though I’m 57 I think learning is a life-long process and if you want to do your job well you need to study. I would recommend the apprenticeship to all Carers as it gives a thorough grounding in care work.

 Managing the apprenticeship levy

The introduction of the apprenticeship levy in April 2017, added another level of complexity to a changing landscape. As well as accommodating the changes within apprenticeships themselves, levy paying organisations will need to adapt their workforce development plans if they are going to make the most of the levy pot. 

In November we’re hosting a number of events which will provide examples of how other levy payers are overcoming some of the challenges and how they now benefitting from these changes. We’ll be exploring in more detail, the benefits apprenticeships can bring to you organisations, sharing ideas on how to manage the off-the-job training requirement and looking at other key challenges.  We’ll also be looking at different models of delivery and understanding integrated apprenticeships.

We’re hosting three events in November. We’ll be in Leeds on Wednesday 07 November, London on Wednesday 14 November and Birmingham on Tuesday 20 November.

Click here to find out more and book your place today.

 For the for the latest information and updates on adults social care apprenticeships click here.

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