Apprenticeships are a fantastic way of building long lasting working relationships; they enable employers to train their apprentices on the job, whilst working towards the applicable qualifications.

Apprentices have certain advantages over candidates that have come straight out of education, such as physical experience and skills learned in the workplace, as well as a good understanding of how to apply these skills in their position.

If you’re thinking about hiring apprentices, you may be wondering how to choose the right apprenticeship training provider. We take a look at some key points to consider below.

Identifying Your Requirements

When choosing an apprenticeship training provider, it’s imperative that they are the right fit for your organisation and understand your individual needs and requirements. There is no “one-size fits all” approach for apprenticeships. The needs of one business are likely to vary from those of another.

Before looking for an apprenticeship training provider you should consider the following;

  • What services does your business offer, what role will the apprentice(s) have within your organisation and what skills will your apprentice be required to learn and carry out. This will help you establish which course will be suitable and the type of framework that the apprentice will need to complete.
  • Your ideal candidate(s). How many apprentices do you require, will they be undertaking the same job within the organisation, or will they require different frameworks? What age groups are suitable for the roles and where will they be working and learning?
  • Will you be integrating in-house training materials into the learning?
  • Will it be more convenient for your apprentices to see their assessor (at your workplace, or to go and learn at the training providers location?
  • Are you from an apprenticeship levy paying organisation? (See below for more information on this).

Once you have identified the type of course and frameworks that need to be completed you can begin your search for a training provider to partner with.

What is the apprenticeship levy scheme?

Back in April 2017 the government introduced the Apprenticeship Levy scheme. All employers with an annual wage bill of £3 million upwards now have to contribute 0.5% of their wage bill for the training of staff via apprenticeships.

These funds are available for 24 months after they enter an employer’s account and can be used to train apprentices.

For smaller businesses who do not pay the levy, the government offers a ‘co-investment’ scheme. This provides financial assistance to smaller, non-levy paying businesses. By paying 10% of the course cost, these smaller businesses can get the remaining 90% paid by the government. Training providers are able to offer a limited number of co-funded apprenticeships, so smaller employers will need to discuss this with their shortlisted training providers to check availability.

Searching for an apprenticeship training provider

Once you have established your requirements you can begin your search for a training partner. The simplest way to search is online. The government’s own Register of Training Apprentice Providers(RoTAP) is an online directory of registered apprenticeship training providers.

RoTAP allows employers to search by apprenticeship type, simply enter a keyword such as ‘marketing’ to view a comprehensive list of apprenticeships to find the right one. You can then view the training providers which offer these courses.

The list of providers allows you to compare the training options available such as whether the apprentices will be required to learn at the training providers location one day a week, for a block booking of 3-4 weeks or whether the training provider comes to your workplace to conduct training. You can also find out about the provider, their experience and where available their achievement rates, learner and employer satisfaction rates.

From here, you will be able to make a shortlist of training providers. Do you need a provider that is fairly local to your business so the students can go and complete their knowledge-based course elements, or can training be provided in-house or remotely? Which provider offers the most suitable course for your business, are they willing to work with you to tailor the framework and qualification to your businesses individual needs and requirements?

Once you have a shortlist you can get in touch with the providers and discuss your requirements.

Research your shortlisted apprenticeship training providers

Now that you have narrowed down your choice of providers, you need to work out which one is the best fit for your business. Below is a list of considerations:

  • How long has the training provider been offering apprenticeships?
  • What is their Ofsted rating?
  • What is their achievement rate? (How many apprentices complete that framework with the provider)
  • What is their employer satisfaction rate? It’s important to work with a provider that has a good employer satisfaction rate, after all you will be working closely with them and don’t want to encounter problems.
    • Do they help with recruitment of the role?
    • Do they provide a good level of communication?
    • Do they support the employers to support their learners?
    • Do they provide employers with a dedicated account manager, that is easily contactable and with whom they have regular contact?
  • What is their learner satisfaction rate? Just as you wish to be happy yourself with the training provider, you also want to ensure your apprentices are satisfied. Happy employees produce the best quality of work.

Armed with all of the above knowledge, you should successfully find the perfect training partner for your organisation.

What the Oxford College of Apprenticeships can offer

Our group has been delivering professional qualifications for over two decades now. This ensures we are perfectly placed to understand both the needs and requirements of learners and employers alike.

We respect the need to be flexible, working closely with our employers to create bespoke programmes which fit their business like a glove. As we mentioned at the beginning of this post, we appreciate that no two businesses are the same, and neither are their apprenticeship requirements. We believe in building long lasting relationships with our employers, which we hope will in turn provide them with long-term employees who value the investment your company has made in them and repay you with loyalty and a desire to keep learning and progress.

We offer a range of apprenticeships here at the Oxford College of Apprenticeships. If you would like to discuss them with us in more depth, we would love to hear from you. You can call us on 01865 515 255, send us an email at enquiries@oxfordpeg.com, or fill in a contact form.