Blog: Quality of training is key
A decrease in the number of apprenticeships being offered in 2017 leaves the government under great scrutiny over the Apprenticeship Levy
A survey carried out by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), has shown that businesses are concerned about the Apprenticeship Levy for a number of reasons including pay bill commitments and the quality of training the Levy providers can give off-site.
Although the number of apprenticeships being offered has fallen since the Levy was introduced in April 2017, figures provided by the CBI/ Pertemps employment trends survey in 2017 predict that the number of apprenticeships is set to rise.
One indicator shows that almost half of participants – 46 per cent – to the survey plan to recruit more apprentices in the next 12 months. Another result showed only four per cent will cut back on the number of apprentices they employ.
It will be hard to measure if the statistics will rise due to the implementation of the Apprenticeship Levy or from a natural increase in discussions and awareness in apprenticeships anyway.
Whether you are for or against it, the Levy offers opportunities for all levels of the workforce at any stage of learning. Getting behind it will increase the number of skilled people back into the workforce and inevitably increase employment.
At Jigsaw Training, we believe the Levy should help young people, while also providing opportunities for older apprentices at any level of knowledge or age.
Delivering training to the highest standard is an important priority here whether as part of the Levy process or not.
Connecting with learners
The world is changing around us. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that what we experience as consumers we also want as learners.
This means your organisation’s learning and development efforts needs to keep pace with change, including what we learn and how we learn it.
The world has become much more personal and relevant to each individual. Think about keeping training tailored not just to teams and levels of learners but also treat everyone as individuals with their own needs. One size doesn’t fit all.
Think about keeping training sessions shorter rather than longer. Short bites can work, especially if you think how we communicate these days in texts, email, on Twitter and Facebook for example.
Sometime making a point in short enables the person to receive and retain it rather than a long-winded tour of the subject. It also depends on the level of training and some leadership courses for example will need to be more in-depth than others.
Use technology such as videos or the internet to help visualise learnings. The visual impact of these channels will help learners remember some of the detail later. Indeed, blended learning combining different formats online and offline can work effectively where the personal training helps reinforce the technical information.
Enable the learner to also find information for themselves where relevant and this way they can tailor content and gain good grades.
The pace of change around is rapid, but we must reflect this to ensure we stay relevant for the learners, who are also consumers.
Apprenticeships benefit all ages
According to latest government statistics, more than half of all new apprenticeships being committed under the new Levy scheme are for those over the age of 25.
To put these figures into context, these figures are for apprenticeships in levy-funded companies that use the apprenticeship service.
Concerns have been raised that the funding reforms are not attracting more employers to invest in young apprentices from 16-18 years old.
The government’s original intention was to create three million apprenticeships for young people by 2020 ahead of the June general election.
At Jigsaw Training, we believe the levy should help young people, while also providing opportunities for older apprentices at all levels of age and knowledge.
We believe this inclusive part of the levy initiative will be a start to plugging the gaps in skills badly needed in specific sectors including health and social care, engineering and facilities management.
A call has been made from the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) to further increase the number of level two apprenticeships with all funding covered by the government.
But why not commit to other levels up to level six in more technical roles for digital and engineering roles, the skills urgently needed at all age ranges?
Let’s not forget that an organisation’s workforce needs a balance and that those employees who may need training or re-training are just as valuable as those entering apprenticeships at an early age.
Indeed, we believe the system should support those employers and workers at all ages and levels who want to learn, adapt and develop new skills as we grow our economy in the post-Brexit age.