Reimagining apprenticeship delivery after covid-19: training providers

Hear success stories, challenges and top tips for apprenticeship delivery after lockdown.

Reimagining apprenticeship delivery after covid-19: training providers

During lockdown we’ve heard some incredible stories about how providers have used OneFile to continue their apprenticeship delivery remotely. Many of our customers have had some amazing successes, so we wanted to bring them together in a webinar to share top tips and explain how they imagine their delivery will change after lockdown.

In this webinar, we brought together Matt Smith and Lesley Rimmington from Interserve and Gavin Smith from Total People to share how they’ve not only continued their remote delivery through lockdown, but made it a success.

The initial discussion focused on technology. All the panelists agreed that having systems like OneFile, Microsoft Teams and Zoom has been key to their delivery and has actually helped them take extra care for their apprentices’ wellbeing. With OneFile, they are able to contact learners at any time to complete safeguarding checks or just see how they’re doing. Gavin Smith from Total People said it’s helped them give learners the extra support they’ve needed in these uncertain times.

Matt and Lesley from Interserve agreed. They've also been using video apps like Zoom to check in with learners and bring learners together for group sessions. This has helped them mirror breakout sessions normally completed in a classroom, and also encouraged learners to interact with one another. At a time where many people are feeling isolated, this has been really positive for learners. Some are going through the same experiences – they've been furloughed or are preparing for EPA remotely – so it’s been good for learners to share their stories and support each other. Peer support is such a powerful force, so that’s been excellent.

Gavin Smith from Total People said that although this lockdown has been challenging for so many people, there have been some positives. They’ve realised that with technology tutors can actually spend more time with their apprentices. Without time being wasted on travel, tutors can provide quality teaching and learning support to every learner. They have a closer relationship, care more about one another and look after each other’s wellbeing. It’s the best of both worlds in some ways – learners haven’t lost the experience of networking or cohort exercises, and tutors know their learners more, so they’re getting even better support on an individual level.

The hub of our digital platform is OneFile. We’ve used OneFile to plan and track the learner journey and built all of the other platforms around it.”

Matt Smith, Interserve

Interserve has seen an increase in learner engagement throughout lockdown. Some of their learners have been furloughed and have really enjoyed learning remotely. They’re glad to have structure, be productive and work towards their career development.

Gavin Smith agreed. Although it felt different for learners at the beginning, they’ve actually seen an increase in engagement and progression. Learners are also developing new skills – like talking on a group video chat. It’s a completely different skill to talking to a group in a classroom, and it’s helped increase learners’ confidence during lockdown.

When it comes to employers, it’s been a mixed bag. Gavin from Total People said that employer reactions have been different depending on the sector area. Some sectors have been decimated by covid-19, so keep up with training programmes hasn't been their top priority. Others have really embraced it and are glad their employees have learning to do. Gavin said his advice would be to talk to the employers – explain how you can adjust the programme to make it suit their current situation. For many apprentices, they’ve moved off-the-job learning forward so it’ll take the pressure of them later in the programme.

Interserve has done the same. Completing practical training for programmes like driving or hairdressing has been tricky, but they’ve adapted the curriculum to cover knowledge first. Apprentices will then be able to put their knowledge into practice when they return to the workplace.

Interserve has also worked with employers to induct new starts completely remotely.

Remote induction is completely new to us, but the feedback from employers has been really good. In the future, we’re going to reflect on this to make sure employers and apprentices are welcomed and inducted remotely.

With the right tools, you can complete all aspects of the learning journey remotely. Gavin Smith said they’re now using OneFile the way they’ve always wanted to – it's really come into its own.

OneFile is our main hub for remote learning and communication, so we’ve really relied on it. We’ve planned and delivered everything through OneFile, and can track the practical side of learning through the evidence, journal and recordings.”

Total People has also used OneFile to help them support learners throughout the pandemic. They've created courses to inform learners about how to protect themselves and have set announcements to keep people up to date with Government advice. “OneFile is so flexible. We’ve been using it how it was designed to be used – for remote learning – but also to deal with the pandemic we’ve found ourselves in.”

Interserve has also used the announcements feature on OneFile to set broadcasts. They have sent different messages to different learning groups. They’ve also attached welfare resources to support wellbeing and safeguarding. They’ve even used it to communicate with their own employees.

Without technology, learning in lockdown would have looked completely different. But with the right systems in place, so many OneFile customers have made remote learning a success.

Look what we’ve been able to do when the chips were down. With OneFile, we can support out learners in the best way possible, no matter what.” Matt Smith, Interserve.

To hear all the advice our panelists had to share, watch the full webinar here.

Or to find out how you can use OneFile to deliver learning remotely, book a demo with a member of the team.

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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.