This year the Babington were one of the 14 organisations shortlisted to receive funding as part of Phase 1 of the Apprenticeship Staff Support Programme. The purpose of the programme is to develop staff to achieve the best outcomes for learners through the design and delivery of new, innovative and high quality development support, resources and materials to be accessed by the wider education and training workforce. The aim of this is to improve outcomes from Apprenticeship programmes by providing a better service to both learners and employers.
The Apprenticeship Staff Support Programme is managed by AELP, along with their strategic partners AoC, HOLEX, 157 Group, NIACE and the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, and has been commissioned and funded by The Education and Training Foundation.
Each organisation selected to take part in the project were to focus on one or both of the following strands:
1. Securing and further developing employer involvement in Apprenticeship delivery.
2. Further improving curriculum development, and teaching, learning and assessment on Apprenticeship programmes.
In order to initiate the project within our organisation, a small project group was assembled in order to plan and design our staff and employer support materials.
Stage 1: What we Decided to do
Aimed at strand 1 our project group decided that the focus of our project would be to increase the skills of provider staff in employer engagement with Financial Services employers, ensuring a joined up approach throughout the learner journey, thereby improving recruitment and achievement rates for apprenticeships.
We set out to:
- Design an Employer Guide to Financial Services Apprenticeships including the benefits of employing Apprentices, FAQ’s, suggestions for engaging in the programme at all stages and information on recruiting/retaining young Apprentices. This would be presented online and available in hard copy.
- Design and deliver a CPD module for employer facing staff to increase understanding of employer perspective, enhance skills in gaining engagement throughout learner journey and how to utilise the Guide to increase recruitment.
Stage 2: Gathering Information from our Stakeholders
In order to ensure the project would meet the needs of our intended audience, we surveyed our Financial Services employers. This allowed us to gain valuable insight into the needs of our employers and the specific areas they would most require additional information and guidance on when considering an Apprentice.
This was followed with a second survey sent out to our delivery staff in which they were required to identify which areas they thought our employers would require additional guidance.
Stage 3: Staff CPD Session Delivered
On 23rd October we delivered our Employer Engagement CPD session for our Financial Services delivery and recruitment staff. The session allowed the participants to discuss their perceptions of employer needs and reflect on the information gathered through the survey.
As part of the day’s activities, the participants were put into groups and given a specific Apprentice scenario. They were then set the task of collating the information that would be required to advise an employer within the given scenario. This information was recorded so that it could be used as part of the development of our employer support materials.
Stage 4: Employer Resources Developed for Launch
The information gathered through the surveys and the CPD session were then fed into the development of the online employer guide and support pages. These resources have been made available through our website so that our employers and staff can access them as a point of reference.