An apprenticeship scheme offers more than other types of training course, with a sharper focus on ensuring a trainee is employable and that vital skills shortages are addressed. Other programmes may equip trainees with the skills and knowledge to prepare them for a successful career in their chosen field, but often do not ensure they are adequately prepared to find and secure long-term employment. Apprenticeships, in comparison, can engage marginalised youngsters so they can gain a head start on their careers and make rapid progress in their new roles.
If you have responsibility for administering an apprenticeship end-point assessment (EPA), what steps can you take to improve the chances of apprentices passing and securing long-term employment?
Improve Outreach To Young People
Engaging with young people can be challenging, particularly if they are already disaffected by their experiences in the education system. Therefore, it’s vital to improve communication and instigate positive working relationships with agencies who already have their trust, such as community groups, job centres, social services, or other referral partners.
Ensure Employability Training Is Hyper-Focused
Apprenticeship training programmes must ensure that each student develops the skills necessary to pursue their chosen career, but there are many other barriers that could prevent a trainee from securing employment – despite a successful end-point assessment. Therefore, a training programme should cover a variety of employability skills, including English, maths, IT, or interview techniques, and offer a personalised learning path that targets the unique needs of each industry.
Promote a Supportive Employer Relationship
It’s vital that apprentices can transfer to rewarding employment at the end of their training programme to meet their needs and those of industry. At the end of an EPA apprenticeship, students will be well-equipped to tackle the challenges of their new career, but won’t be the fully-rounded individuals that they will become with the intervention and support of their new employer.
Aim to work with employers who can commit to supporting their new recruits, particularly those with experience of employing disengaged young people. This may mean having honest discussions with employers to ensure they can offer the level of support necessary, without reneging on their promises later.
Deliver High-Quality Ongoing Support
As an apprenticeship provider, your responsibilities to your students don’t end at the moment that they complete their course. Not all trainees will obtain a position with an employer immediately, so ongoing one-to-one support will keep students focused and positive, and increase the chances of their securing employment quickly.
Contact Skilltech Support For All Your EPA Needs
The end-point assessment is the crucial stepping stone between the training programme and employment and, at Skilltech Solutions, we have developed innovative software, EPAPro, to support your end-point assessment process.