Lyndsy Bumford, Recruitment Team Leader at Intequal

Emotional and Mental Development when considering apprenticeships.

Learning while you are earning is a popular career path for many young people, with over 900,000 learners currently on an apprenticeship in the UK, according to government figures.

Apprentices have proven to be more loyal employees and get promoted faster than staff without workplace training. And apprenticeships not only advance people professionally; they can also develop them emotionally and mentally by teaching them in a style which suits them better than the traditional further and higher education routes of college or university.

The hands-on approach of apprenticeships can also introduce young people to the world of work much sooner and more effectively than a degree, yet they may feel pressurised by parents, teachers or advisers when it comes to making their decision.

So, what do they need to know to decide if an apprenticeship is the best route for them? And how can they be guided and advised in their choice?

Getting the right fit

Many companies offering apprenticeship schemes use their external apprenticeship programme provider to search and select candidates for them, and the good ones include a pastoral element in this process.

If we are running an apprenticeship programme for a company we advertise the apprenticeships they have on offer, and candidates either apply through us or we actively search for them. But with so many different types of apprenticeship on offer, making sure the right candidate is selected for the role is vital.

Each apprentice needs the right working environment for them, so we take time to carefully screen every candidate. This starts with a phone call to go over the job role and discuss the apprenticeship programme, and I’ll usually ask them some questions to make sure the position is a good fit for them.

For example, because we are an IT apprenticeship provider, I want to know how they became interested in IT or software and what experience they have already. I’ll also ask them to visit the hiring company’s website and write something about its features and benefits, which gives them an opportunity to find out about the company, what it does, and who works there.

This helps me make sure they are the right fit and vice versa, because some clearly don’t put enough effort in, but the ones who do I know are right for the role.

Funding hurdles

Another reason it is so important to get this right from the start, is because if a learner leaves one apprenticeship before completing, it is unlikely they will be allowed to access funding to start another.

Placing a learner in a company that isn’t suitable for them can have an impact on their whole career. Not only can it be a huge knock to their confidence, but if it doesn’t work out, it can affect their chances of getting funding to go into another apprenticeship in the sector.

We get lots of candidates who apply with us who have already left a programme after six months, but most of the time, we can’t put them forward for another programme of the same level as they have already drawn down their funding allocation.

Professional development

For those who do find the right opportunity, apprenticeships develop people professionally because they give learners the chance to gain new skills and learn from others in a similar job role, as well as establish relationships with higher ranking staff, which helps equip them with the confidence and capabilities to move forward.

And employers benefit too. Apprenticeships help businesses mould people into the staff members they need and companies like this because they get a learner from the start and can develop them – in our case, with technical skills, but also professionally and culturally within the business.

In fact, there are apprentices we have trained who are now taking on apprentices themselves as they have been in a business for so long, which is also a sign of the loyalty that apprenticeships create.

Personal growth

It is not just a career path that apprentices are developing. Teaching learners in a style to which they are better suited also helps them grow mentally and emotionally.

Learning how to speak to people and develop relationships with staff at all levels of a business helps learners develop emotionally, particularly when they work with mentors in the workplace and build friendships with people who have similar interests to them.

Apprenticeships also give learners a mental stretch, as working out how to establish flexibility in the workplace will prepare them for working life after completion. However, the pressures of routine can be difficult for some learners at first – particularly those who are straight out of school and used to their time being their own after half past three every day. This soon becomes second nature as they progress in their career.

Another benefit of apprenticeships that are run in the workplace is that there is less disruption to the learner’s routine than if they had to go out to college for their training.

Intequal’s learners get two two-hour sessions a week with their trainers, and the equivalent of one day a week to do their apprenticeship work, but all of this is while they are in their employer’s workplace. This is less disruptive on all sides and means learners can put what they have learnt into practice straightaway, as soon as the learning session has ended.

Support to decide

This hands-on approach of apprenticeships undoubtedly helps introduce young people to the world of work much sooner and more than a degree, yet there is the risk that some could feel pressurised by parents, teachers or careers advisers when it comes to making the decision to pursue an apprenticeship in the first place.

To mitigate this risk, we believe there are plenty of ways that young people can be supported to make the right decision for themselves about whether an apprenticeship is the best option for them.

There needs to be better careers advice in schools and colleges, as well as an entry system that lets candidates know what they need to do to get on an apprenticeship programme. There is still a stigma around apprenticeships being a ‘last resort’ for gaining qualifications, and it really shouldn’t be that way anymore.

If young people were told about apprenticeships at a younger age, it would give them more time to look into them and may take some pressure off because it gives them a third option as well as college or university.

Variety and scope

In fact, one of the most common things that many parents and learners don’t realise about apprenticeships is that because they are now available in such a wide variety of industry sectors, some can be completed up to degree level.

Learners can come out with the same qualification as a degree but because they are earning while they are learning, they will have no student debt from it, and they will have gained valuable work experience in the process.

Another benefit is the network of care that surrounds apprentices. Employers have their own contracts with their apprentices, and as with all of their staff, companies have a responsibility to make sure their learners are OK, especially if they are under 18.

A reputable apprenticeship programme provider will also take care of them – for example, we have a pastoral care team that keeps in touch with all our learners for the first few months, then every six weeks, with a regular call or email to make sure they are OK.

In the end it is in everybody’s interest to get this right; to support and encourage a young person to find the best role for them on an apprenticeship programme that’s going to set them up for the rest of their life.

Lyndsy Bumford, Recruitment Team Leader at Intequal

About IntequalIntequal is a Microsoft Apprenticeship Programme Provider delivering framework apprenticeships since Oct 2013 & new standards since Mar 2016.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Video Advert

Newsroom Activity

Deirdre what an engaging article bringing to the forfront issues that matter to the next...

Ahlan Safety commented on 5 ways to keep your Company safe yesterday

Workplace health and safety is very important part for every business. I read these 5 steps, So I...

Ahlan Safety commented on 5 ways to keep your Company safe yesterday

Workplace health and safety is very important part for every business. I read these 5 steps, So I...

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page