Apprenticeships go from strength to strength during COVID Lockdown

In the new COVID-world there are some inspiring stories of organisations who have successfully adapted their business models to the current challenges for Apprenticeships under COVID-19.

‘Keeping learners learning’ has been the mantra of the entire team at Worcestershire Group Training Association (WGTA) where they have had to adapt the delivery of their programmes for their apprenticeship learners.

This has allowed WGTA to ensure continued learning for their apprentices since the beginning of lockdown, which has allowed 29 apprentices to successfully complete their apprenticeships.

Nigel Morgan, Chief Executive of Worcestershire Group Training Association, said: “Of the 526 students actively on the WGTA’s learning programme at the beginning of April, only 6 have had a break in learning due to being unable to continue training.

“Of the remainder, most have continued working and despite 198 being on furlough, WGTA have been working closely with employers to ensure that learning has still been able to continue, working within the furlough rules. We, together with our learners, are very grateful for the continued and vital support that employers have shown to the apprenticeships programmes by embracing the adjustments to the training delivery.

“Our objective moving forward will be to find the right balance between the use of technology and face to face to ensure we get the best outcomes for our students. One of the key reasons for their success is the support of local employers, such as Sanctuary Group.”

Michelle Wood, Group Head of Learning and Development for Sanctuary Group commented: “WGTA are a key training provider for our apprentices and we have continued to work with them through these challenging times. Our apprentices provide real value to the Group and, as with all staff, we have supported them to access the technology needed to continue their work away from the offices. Training has also continued with WGTA through various online platforms such as Zoom and the feedback we have received has been great. We will continue to support and provide apprenticeship opportunities at Sanctuary, to help young people to build their careers.”

The WGTA team have already moved forward with plans for the next wave of delivery with engineering practical training and accountancy training returning to the centre from the 15 June in line with the relaxing of UK lockdown restrictions.

More employers are being encouraged to support this growing demand for apprenticeships and Worcestershire Apprenticeships are hosting a free webinar aimed at employers to help them understand how they can adhere to workplace guidance around social distancing whilst employing and training apprentices in these times, as well as how to recruit apprentices and the various benefits they offer.

Find out more and book a place on this webinar on the Worcestershire Apprenticeships website here – https://worcsapprenticeships.org.uk/events/

Furthermore the Careers Worcestershire helpline was launched in April to provide free qualified advice to young people. They will also be hosting a series of informative webinars in the coming weeks to provide more information on all the options available to young people.

To register for these webinars, please visit the Skills 4 Worcestershire website here – http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/careersportal/info/38/the_careers_worcs_information_advice_and_guidance_service/24/next_steps_webinar

 

Pictured: Remote training with apprentices from WGTA