Setting up an apprenticeship
As a manager, we advise that you would broadly follow the stages below, noting that this is a simplified list of key elements; there will be additional factors to consider which will depend on each organisation.
Not all organisations have central support (often in the form of an institutional apprenticeship manager) but if this does exist we recommend that you speak with this team in the first instance as they will have significant knowledge that will make the process run much more smoothly.
Identifying the potential for an apprentice
Using workforce analysis tools, seek to identify skills gaps within the organisation, which may be suitable for apprenticeship positions. This may be due to loss of skills through retirement, natural wastage or areas in which skills are in short supply and as such as difficult to recruit into.
Identify the apprenticeship level and gain relevant organisational support for salary cost via a business case submitted via appropriate channels.
Identify an appropriate apprenticeship standard which aligns to the organisational need.
Identify a local training provider which can deliver the standard.
Preparing for your apprentice
Once budget for salary have been approved, apprenticeship standard identified and training provider identified, work with your legal team to ensure the training provider contract is fit for purpose and negotiate as appropriate until a final contract is agreed.
Work with local managers and teams where apprentice positions will be embedded, seeking support from these individuals as well as providing support to them in delivering the apprenticeship against the apprenticeship standard including the 20% off the job requirement.
Recruiting your apprentice
Complete and seek approval and sign off for the job description.
Design a recruitment campaign to ensure key target audiences are reached.
The apprentice position is advertised and normal organisation recruitment process is followed ie selection process, interview panel.
Your apprentice starts work
Apprentice is offered the position, accepts and normal organisation procedure for recruitment follows.
Work with the training provider to enrol the apprentice onto the identified standard.
Liaise with organisational human resources teams to ensure apprentices are set up with the Digital Apprentice Scheme (DAS) to enable draw down from the levy to cover the cost of the training fees.
Apprentice is inducted into the relevant team as per organisational process.
Business as usual
Local line managers/supervisors of apprentices provide day to day supervision and management, ensuring that the role aligns to competency required of the standard.
Ensure that regular meetings take place between local managers, the apprentice, and the training provider to ensure the apprenticeship is on target and to resolve any issues which may arise.
Six months before the end of the apprenticeship
Six months before the end of the apprenticeship ensure that conversation have taken place with regard to the End Point Assessment and how this will be delivered.
Towards the end of the apprenticeship provide coaching around writing CV, interview practice and job search support.
Note: this outline is in respect of level 2, 3 and 4 apprenticeships only and relates to new staff coming into apprenticeship positions. In addition, best practice shows that creating apprentice and manager handbooks as a way to manage expectations of all is a useful exercise.