Last week, we spoke with an Apprenticeship Levy paying organisation who were considering becoming an employer provider. It was an interesting conversation – well, we found it interesting – you may not share the same enthusiasm! It was interesting because they wanted to start a large-scale apprenticeship programme to maximise their apprenticeship levy payments. No problem with that. They were keen to do this as they already had an in-house training team and wanted to maximise their trainers. No problem with that, either. And they were ready to go now! We had a slight problem with that, as they were clearly unprepared.
As well as going through the standard requirements of programme delivery, which they could do, they had failed to consider functional skills delivery, data management, safeguarding, Prevent and quality assurance.
What do employer providers need to consider?
Delivering apprenticeships is complicated. There are lots of different elements, they take at least a year to complete and involve lots of people – the apprentice, trainers, assessors, mentors, managers and in some cases, parents too. They are complicated because there are a lot of elements to consider; diplomas, technical certificates, functional skills, personal learning and thinking skills, employment rights and responsibilities and now apprenticeship standards and the Levy. On top of all of this, there is OfSTED to consider and audit from the ESFA. Then there is quality assurance.
In our conversation with the levy employer, we only talked about some of the quality assurance requirements they had to consider. Still, we think it helped demonstrate some of the things they had to consider. These included:
OfSTED Self Assessment Reports
Quality Improvement Plans
Observation of Teaching, Learning and Assessment
Feedback from learners
It demonstrated to the employer that there was a lot to do before they could launch their programme. Any employer considering becoming an employer provider needs to consider all of the areas and more that we pointed out in our conversation. Apprenticeships are not just about delivering training programmes. There is so much more that needs to be considered.
If you are considering becoming an apprenticeship employer provider and think you might need additional support, please contact us to discuss your requirements further.