What YOU think about the new world of apprenticeships
At OneFile, we've championed apprenticeships for over a decade – and sometimes that means tackling some controversial topics.
Last year's apprenticeship reforms really rocked the boat, and there were a lot of mixed feelings about each of the changes. Some companies dismissed the apprenticeship levy as another tax, while others saw it as a huge development opportunity. The RoATP was supposed to be a fresh start, but it ended up causing confusion across the sector. And the new standards weren't any better. There was confusion about the role of the assessor, end-point assessment, and off-the-job training – and over a year later, there's still a lot up in the air.
At OneFile, we want to know how people across the sector are feeling so we can offer the support they need. But instead of speculating, we want to get cold, hard facts straight from the horse's mouth. So we launched a mini sector survey to canvas opinion from people across the sector. We posted questions on OneFile's Twitter page and hosted a ping-pong poll at this year's AELP National Conference.
Loads of training providers, employers and assessors got involved and had their say. The first question, 'What's been the biggest shake up to apprenticeships this year' showed a broad spread of opinion. 33% of respondents thought the apprenticeship levy had the biggest impact, 30% said the standards, 26% voted for off-the-job training and 11% said end-point assessment. This is an interesting result as, although apprenticeship delivery has been hugely affected by the reforms, it was the new funding system that caused the biggest shake-up. This is because the apprenticeship levy represents more than funding – it's changed how employers value apprenticeships and has encouraged more employers to invest in training and development.
This is something our customers have said to us too. We always ask them for feedback and ideas, so we've developed a series of new features to help them manage the reforms and increase employer engagement – including a levy management tool.
The next question shows just how confusing the reforms have been. We asked, 'What's been the biggest kick-back against off-the-job training?', and the winner with 38% of the vote was lack of understanding. This result could have been predicted as there was a lot of confusion when the reform was announced. Employers and providers weren't sure what could count towards off-the-job and didn’t know how it was supposed to be measured and recorded. Even though we're now a year down the line, that initial lack of understanding is still a challenge. Other kickbacks to off-the-job training include employer buy-in, which received 32% of the vote, the amount of time dedicated to off-the-job (23%) and it being difficult to quantify (7%).
How can OneFile help?
At OneFile, we’ve developed our software so apprentices can track and record their off-the-job training within their eportfolio. Learners upload evidence as normal, and simply select whether it was completed off-the-job or not. Data is then automatically calculated into a percentage and displayed on their dashboard, so learners and managers can see exactly how much off-the-job training they've completed. Loads of our users are already taking advantage of this new feature and it's gone down a storm. To find out how OneFile can help you manage each stage of the apprenticeship journey – from off-the-job training to end-point assessment, download our free guide.