Apprenticeships – One Year On…thoughts, feelings, the future!

August 1, 2018 12:52 pm Published byAzesta

As you may be aware, we were successful in our application to be on the Register of Approved Training Providers (RoATP) early last year. We thought it would be helpful to report on how we have found the process thus far. After getting a bit excited and thinking about offering apprenticeships in many areas, we decided to focus on two programmes, Level 3 Team Leader/Supervisor and Level 5, Departmental/Operations Manager.

To begin with we were given a helpful onboarding checklist to guide us through the many, many systems that we needed to be registered on, forms to be completed and returned and roles that needed to be allocated – what would have been incredibly helpful was an acronym list!

Reflecting now, some thirteen months since attending the New Provider Masterclass, the memories of us asking each other across the office “what is IDAMS again, is it the same as the Hub?!” have faded considerably. The seemingly endless hours spent poring over confusing guides, complex appendices and designing spreadsheets to help manage this enormous flow of data are now also a distant memory, but we receive regular reminders about how much progress we’ve made since the early days.   These reminders come in the form of positive learner feedback, client communication, error free data submission and not forgetting the monthly remittance from the ESFA!

Yes, we were sceptical about whether this would be a positive thing for Azesta, and to be honest, we’re still to see government/levy funded apprenticeships turn a corner from a profitable standpoint, however we do believe that by putting in the effort and overcoming those inevitable dark days when trying something new, we will make the training levy work for both our clients and Azesta.

Key Learning Points

  • Communicate, communicate, communicate!  Absolutely vital between all parties but in particular training provider and client
  • Start an acronym guide at the start – you think you’ll remember what each part does!
  • Ensure your time estimates are generous – set up will take longer than you think!
  • Get advice from training providers who are further down the journey – try not to re-invent the wheel
  • Don’t give up!  There will be times that you question whether apprenticeships are the right thing to be doing, but it is unlikely they’ll be going anywhere.  If anything, we believe the government will start applying the levy to organisations with a pay bill under £3m in the future

Ultimately, we’re proud of the programmes our learners receive and ensured that whilst they are being delivered according to the standards set out, they are done so with the familiar Azesta twist.

We are becoming more adept at getting the information in from our learners and speeding and tightening up our processes all the time – we’re always learning.

By Rachel Fort

If you would like to talk about us either delivering your apprenticeship programmes or would like to discuss how we’ve managed the process in more detail, please email us apprenticeships@azesta.co.uk or call 01423 711904

 

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