10 do’s and don’ts to a successful apprenticeship delivery. Thinking about hiring an apprentice or wondering if it’s the right route for you? Diving into a sector that is ever-changing and evolving can be a minefield of confusion, but Smart Apprentices are here to help.

Smart Apprentices will guide you through the do’s and don’ts of a successful apprenticeship delivery, from finding an apprentice to ensuring they pass their course.

1. Do understand your funding position

Applying for funding can be confusing. ITP’s/Colleges need to figure out where the money is coming from, whether you as employer they’re working with has access to a levy pot or not which they can use to allocate funds accordingly.

Your provider can help you to do this, they will set up an ILR (individual learning record) with the learner, to submit to the ESFA for them to allocate and generate funding, using your levy/non levy pot. Alongside this the provider needs to ascertain the learners starting point. They do this by providing an initial assessment of the learners maths/English skills but equally as important they provide an initial assessment to assess the learners prior skill set, mapped to the Knowledge Skills and Behaviours.

If the learner has a prior skill set already your chosen provider needs to work with you to agree a negotiated rate for the apprenticeship. In collaboration with you they then look at the initial assessment results and put together a delivery plan tailored for you as the employer and tailored to the learner and their job role.

Smart Apprentices FAS tool can help you understand your funding and allow you to see the bigger picture including monthly payments. Smart Apprentices VLE tool provides initial assessments and diagnostics of functional skills maths/English and allows your provider to create their own knowledge checks for the learner prior skill set.

2. Don’t forget to research

There are hundreds of a training providers and colleges available to choose from to help with your apprenticeship delivery. Choosing the right one is vital to success, knowing which specialise in sectors relevant to what you want to delivery is the right step forward. Don’t forget to research who these are and work with one who fits your business best.

3. Do be detailed in your job description

Hiring an apprentice should be treated the exact same as hiring any other employee. Creating a detailed job description that will explain the needs of the apprentice clearly will allow for transparency for those applying and ensure that the business attracts the right kind of candidate.

4. Don’t forget an apprentice can be a current staff member

Apprenticeships aren’t just for those aged 16-18 and leaving school. Businesses can put their current staff on apprenticeships to suit the businesses needs and as a way of up-skilling their current staff.

5. Do go digital

Gone are the days where everything for apprenticeship learning is completed on paper with the worrying risk of getting lost.

Going digital mitigates this risk by keeping data in the cloud, an e-portfolio and virtual learning environment are used by many training providers to ensure the digital journey of their clients.

Software also means that learners can keep in touch with their assessors remotely and upload their working from their workplace. Employers are also given a dashboard to monitor alongside the apprentices and assessor to ensure complete transparency across the apprenticeship delivery.

6. Don’t be in the dark about your learners’ progression

Going digital means, you don’t have to worry about keeping up to date with where your learners are at with their course. Tracking progression is important to knowing when your apprentice is ready to be submitted for the end point assessment and where their gaps in learning are.

To mitigate the risk of failure, Smart Assessor has delivery milestones and gateways built in to ensure your learner can complete mock EPA assessments in preparation for the real thing.

7. Don’t just leave your apprentice to ‘get on with it’

Remember you hired an apprentice to help with your business needs, but they are also there to learn and develop their skills. An apprentice can be a great asset to your business, with reports revealing apprentices boost productivity in the workplace.

Ensuring they are taught properly and offered help when they need it is important to a running a successful apprenticeship delivery.

8. Do give your provider or college feedback regularly

What’s working well or what isn’t? How can your provider help you maximise the success of your apprentices’ journey? All these questions can only be answered if you keep in touch with your provider or college.

They are there to help so make use of them – the success of your learners’ apprenticeship is as much down to them as it is to you.

9. Don’t forget to plan and prepare for Ofsted

Ofsted inspections can be misinterpreted as scary, but they don’t have to be! Those who plan and prepare for Ofsted visits should be able to pass with no worries.

Ofsted are there to monitor the delivery and quality of the apprenticeship, ensuring they are following the intent, implementation and impact formula. Those providers who receive an inadequate from Ofsted not only are stopped from recruitment instantly but also run the risk of being shut down completely.

Whilst this may sound daunting, if prepared, this is unlikely to be the case.

10. Do keep up to date with sector knowledge

Keeping up to date with sector knowledge is the best way to learn any changes that might be happening in the sector or learning ways of helping with your current delivery.

There might be changes to policies or procedures that you need to comply with, therefore it is important to know what’s going on.