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How to prepare for trailblazer apprenticeships

The government has set some ambitious apprenticeship targets.

How to prepare for trailblazer apprenticeships

huge stack of paper next to a tiny stack

The government has set some ambitious apprenticeship targets.

In fact, they've committed to delivering over 3 million new apprenticeships across all sectors by the end of 2020 - that's more than one new apprentice starting every minute!

With so many major changes and big challenges on the horizon, it's time to start thinking about how you can prepare for the new trailblazer apprenticeships. At OneFile, our trailblazer experts are at the top of their game, so we've racked their brains to come up with some easy ways to stay one step ahead.

Do your homework

We all know it's true; 'failing to prepare is preparing to fail' - but with so much uncertainty surrounding trailblazer apprenticeships, doing your homework is not as easy as it sounds. Reading about the new standards is a good place to start. You can research specific programmes, standards and groups to see how the changes may affect your training.

Keep up

There are tons of great ways you can stay in the loop. As well our Explore area, the government has set up plenty of interactive channels to help - including social media pages to follow, petitions to sign and open consultations to be a part of. You can find all government-backed engagements here. 

Get stuck in

Don't sit back and wait to be invited - get stuck in! Trailblazer groups are required to consult with relevant companies in their sector to ensure the standards are relevant for everyone. So if you're interested in being involved first-hand, take a look at which standards are still in the consultation stage. You could also meet with other companies in your sector to see what preparations they're making.


Apart from the new employer-led standards, trailblazers will also have an End-Point Assessment (EPA). One of the biggest changes to apprenticeships in recent years, the EPA will be a GCSE-style test taken by every learner to prove their competencies.

The concept is simple - apprentices must pass the test to complete their qualification - but it brings huge changes to the way courses are run and graded.

Here are five key things to consider:

- EPAs are designed and developed by the trailblazer groups

- the assessment organiser and assessor must be independent from the trailblazer group and employer

- the EPA organisation must be approved by the SFA

- assessment can take any form - interviews, written examinations or observations

- learners will receive a grade - either pass, merit or distinction

At OneFile, we've already adapted our software to support trailblazer apprenticeships. We've created interactive employer accounts that fully involve the employer in the learner's journey. Standards and terminology can be customised to suit each trailblazer, and each learner's progress is then tracked against the standard. You can also create bespoke forms to meet the requirements of each trailblazer. These features ensure the entire learning process is fully inclusive for not only the provider, but the learner and employer too. Learn more about OneFile and Trailblazers.

This article includes research and opinion sourced by OneFile at the time of publication. Things may have changed since then,
so this research is to be used at the reader's discretion. OneFile is not liable for any action taken based on this research.