We wanted to understand the different stumbling blocks that you encounter day in, day out with apprenticeship management – and so we asked you to tell us. And from recruitment through to assessment, you mentioned quite a few…
With thanks to everyone who completed our recent Audience Survey, here are some of the biggest barriers to successful apprenticeship training that you’re facing right now.
Effective Employer Support
The employer relationship was the concern that occurred most frequently (referenced by 27.2% of respondents). However, your responses covered a broad number of topics.
“Effective employer support, not just lip service. This means allowing staff to have the 20% off-the-job training”, said one provider. They went on to highlight how a non-committal employer can cause learner engagement to suffer as a consequence.
“Obviously the apprentice’s primary role needs to be fulfilled, but so does their apprenticeship. As Covid impacted on many workplaces, with staff working longer hours, covering shortages or not working at all, many seemed to put their apprenticeship way down the jobs list rather than complete a little work regularly.”
The complications of Covid came up in other responses (22%), with several training providers relating the difficulty of arranging and completing time in the workplace.
At the other end of the process, some providers (9%) cited recruitment as their most problematic present concern. There was no clear-cut elaboration on the cause, but a record high of 953,000 estimated job vacancies from May to July 2021 suggests that the issue could be due to a dearth of suitable candidates.
Funding & Other Inequalities
The issue of funding also came up, particularly with reference to Scottish training providers.
“SDS funding contributions in Scotland are too low. Therefore we choose NOT to deliver some frameworks in the volumes we have in the past because we end up making a loss. Funding in England is higher, and if we received this volume of funding we could provide a much better service than we currently can.”
This last point is worth noting. The majority of our respondents were English, and the only other mentions of funding were as a bureaucratic issue, rather than an operational one.
Another training provider recognised the demands of the standards – and their own role in the process.
“Knowledge and understanding of subject delivered is a challenge. This is why it’s important to create a dedicated project plan for each subject offered, and to share with colleagues. Once a project plan is in place, easy reference can be made, making adjustments ongoing.”
The range of responses we received illustrated the many challenges of apprenticeship management. As one provider concisely surmised:
“Our biggest challenge? Balancing needs of employers, apprentices, training providers and funding rules!”
Thank You For Taking Part
We’re proud to announce that the winner of the £100 Amazon Gift Voucher prize draw was Michelle Shilton of Asset Training.
Thank you to everyone that took the time to complete the survey. Your responses will guide our future apprenticeship services and content.