Choosing the right apprenticeship training provider can be a confusing and challenging task, whatever the size of your business. With a range of training providers across a wide range of sectors, and who might only cover one area of your skills needs regarding training, finding the best training provider for your business can be frustrating.
We wanted to highlight the six most significant variables from our perspective to consider when looking for a training provider to guarantee the ideal collaborator for your apprenticeship programme. From programme inclusion and quality to providing an outstanding learning experience, these are some of our best tips when selecting a provider.
This is twofold - does the provider offer you training on the range of skills and programmes you are looking for? And do they have the reach to provide your teams training no matter where they are based in the UK? Guaranteed programme coverage and the ability to scale your apprenticeship training programmes on a national level shows that they can assess and respond to your business needs.
A team of experts
A good apprenticeship training provider will provide detailed advice to help you understand the opportunities available. They will take the time to understand your business challenges, strategy and values and work with you to understand and formulate a plan that will deliver the necessary training needed for your organisation.
Picking a training provider with expert experience within your industry is important. Each industry is unique, and how your provider targets and delivers training will, and should be, done with your business/sectors needs at the heart of each programme. Tutors who all have industry experience is a clear sign of a provider who is dedicated to delivering high-quality training.
A provider that has worked with a breadth of companies from small businesses to large national brands over several years will have a wealth of experience in delivering training programmes on varying scales. Dedicated and trustworthy providers will proudly and openly display their success rates and satisfaction rates to give you peace of mind that they are committed to delivering a great service and continuously improving.
Programme success is measured by the Government annually, and satisfaction rates of learners and employers are published on the Find Apprenticeship Training website. Your provider will have these results, so make sure you ask to see them. Your provider should also be able to offer up case studies of existing employer partners so you can hear first-hand how the provider operates.
Review sites like Rate My Apprenticeship also provide valuable insight into how a learner feels about their experience with the provider.
Looking into the awards a provider has been shortlisted for or won in the last 12 months will give you a great indication on how they have been doing. Entering these awards requires a commitment to celebrating the work these providers do and requires solid examples of the providers' competency and excellence in order to reach the finals, beat the competition and win. These could be awards within the apprenticeship industry or specific sectors. Awards that celebrate excellence within the apprenticeship industry include the AAC Awards (run by industry body the AELP and industry press FE Week), the BKSB skills awards and the Rate My Apprenticeship Awards.
You should also look to ensure the provider you choose has the relevant accreditations including their Ofsted rating, affiliation with the Government funding agencies and awarding bodies (e.g. City & Guilds and the ILM), Investors in People and Investors in Young People rating, Cyber Essentials amongst others. All of these should give you peace of mind that you are dealing with a professional provider
The right fit
Sometimes it can be as simple as a decent social fit between your business your training provider, as it is important for any effective programme to launch, and then be able to keep employees engaged. Your training provider should be seen as an extension of your learning and development function, a team that can help you to strategise and deliver the programmes that are right for your business. They will assess each individual's learning goals and needs, align this to your overall goals, energise and motivate your teams, and keep your employees on track with their career progression pathway.
Leading techniques and technology
The final area to check is to understand how the provider delivers their training and the technology that you and your teams would have access to if you choose them. The pandemic has caused many businesses to review and reset their working practices, and their suppliers will need to do the same. You need to feel confident that the training delivery fits with your business, whether working from home, multiple sites, or unsociable hours, and the tools used to enable you and your employees to keep track of their progress. How easily does the training provider make it for you to assess the individual learner's needs, monitor their progress, review the support each individual's needs and ensure they achieve their qualification on time to the best of their ability?
If you are interested in learning while earning a salary, gaining valuable work experience and nationally recognised qualifications, then have a look at our apprenticeship vacancies and see what opportunities are available in your area. For more help, please contact us on 0800 783 2545 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.