Want to keep learning?

This content is taken from the University of Leeds & UCL Institute of Education's online course, Blended Learning Essentials: Digitally-Enriched Apprenticeships. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds [Diana:] The new apprenticeship model it is importantly different from the previous generic frameworks. The new standards give you the generic standards for your industry sector. But now the training has to work specifically to the client’s requirements. [Craig:] I think the biggest change is, the purpose of the new standards is to really make the training bespoke for the clients so that when we’re teaching, training, and working with apprenticeship, it’s very much to do with the environments that they’re working in that particular time. [Diana:] Salford City College has done a lot of work preparing the staff to be ready for these new ways of working. [Allan:] Every member of staff is issued with an iPad and a smartphone.

Skip to 0 minutes and 47 seconds And that is ultimately how we ask them to manage and run their work. The iPads for the delivery assessors leads to various different elements of software for obviously delivery of learning, but also communicating with employers, startups, completions, all the things that we training providers do on a daily basis. [Diana:] And for that to work, the staff need effective training and support. Preparation also means setting up the right partnerships. At WhiteHat, they focus on three essential elements to this. [Fred:] High quality matching is the first one, which is about making sure we’re putting apprentices in the right companies and the right roles. High quality delivery, so partnering with the right organisations in order to deliver a really high quality learning experience.

Skip to 1 minute and 36 seconds And also providing a social element, so making sure that both on the learning side and also on the pastoral side, that apprentices are getting that social experience that they would otherwise get at university. [Diana:] The preparation begins with selecting the standard and then works backwards from what they’re ultimately trying to achieve for their apprentices. [Isobel:] So we work, really, we backwards plan starting what the end point assessment looks like, where we need to get the apprentices to, how we’re going to cover the totality of the knowledge, skills, behaviours. We work backwards from there and map out the journey from enrolment to final assessment, and everything in between.

Skip to 2 minutes and 17 seconds [Diana:] Sophie Ruddock describes how they used the changes to apprenticeships to bring in digital methods to transform the support for apprentices. [Sophie:] With the change of apprenticeships, we saw a huge opportunity as a company to not only deliver better and more high quality training, but also to change how we deliver apprenticeships. We really believe that to have a transformative learning experience, learning needs to happen on the job, off the job, we’re big proponents of blended learning. And we keep in contact with our apprentices now throughout the month to encourage them to learn, not just at those monthly intervals.

Skip to 2 minutes and 53 seconds [Diana:] It’s similar to the way Great Ormond Street Hospital supports their apprentices, partly through their online platform, where the ForSkills site tracks and records their progress. [Ben:] What this has done is this has created your own learning zone. So this person has done the diagnostic and they’ve come out with 53%. So that means they’ve got 47% more work they need to attain to be able to be ready to take the exam. As you’re working through this system, your assessor can see what you’re doing on that. Now, they are not trying to test you. But they need to be able to justify if we need to give any additional support to that.

Skip to 3 minutes and 36 seconds [Diana:] There’s lots of opportunities for digital innovation to enrich the apprenticeship experience.

Skip to 3 minutes and 41 seconds And we’ve seen just a few here: staff communicating with each other and the apprentices with iPads and smartphones; everyone trained in using the virtual learning environment; regular online communication between coach and apprentice; online progress checking for each apprentice; and the coaches checking progress online to help make them ready for the assessment. Having the capability to use digital methods in this way begins with the leaders and managers in any training provider. The individual teacher or trainer can do a lot with their apprentices. But this approach needs change at the organisational level, as we’ve seen in all these cases.

The new model as an opportunity for innovation

This video provides you with examples from training providers who have used the new apprenticeship model to bring digital in at every opportunity to enrich and improve what they do.

The new model has gone from training that is generic to training that relates specifically to the employer’s needs. That requires ongoing and highly efficient communication and negotiation between the trainer and employer to support the apprentice.

Digital methods help a lot with that new process, as the video shows. That in turn means that leaders and managers must be ready to change the way their organisation operates and supports their staff in using digital if they are to optimise their effectiveness.

Employer, trainer and apprentice in a three-way jigsaw collaboration

As you saw in the video, this might mean setting up iPads or using a designated member of staff to brainstorm ideas and assist with setting up the use of digital in different areas.

The key in this Preparation stage is to make sure everyone is ready.

The preparation stage of the apprenticeship roadmap The Preparation stage.

Further your understanding:

Use the links in the See Also section to find out more about the toolkits available.

The ‘Future Apprenticeships: Provider Toolkit’ from the Department for Education and the Education and Training Foundation, provides detailed lists and resources of what has to be done, but does not include any advice on how digital methods can help.

The ‘Jisc Apprenticeship Toolkit’ is an interactive online tool enabling you to click through to advice, guidance and online tools relating to the ways technology can help at each stage.

Have your say:

  • What challenges do you and your organisation face in developing a digitally-enriched apprenticeship programme?

  • How might you be able to help your organisation move forward in developing a digitally-enriched apprenticeship programme?

Share and discuss your thoughts with other learners in the Comments.

You could copy and paste useful comments into your course journal.

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

Blended Learning Essentials: Digitally-Enriched Apprenticeships

University of Leeds