The chance to develop vital skills and experience before starting an Apprenticeship can give would be apprentices a real head start.

The National Apprenticeship’s Access to Apprenticeship programme and the Sector Skills Council’s Pre Apprenticeship developments highlight the importance of preparing learners for their Apprenticeship.

‘NCFE Progression to Apprenticeship’ qualifications can be delivered to support learners and help equip them to make the most of their Apprenticeship right from the start.

By preparing learners before they start a full Apprenticeship, they’re more confident and better prepared for their chosen Apprenticeship study route.

The NCFE qualification in Learning to Learn is one of the Progression to Apprenticeship routes we offer.  However, becoming skilled in the art of learning is certainly a controversial idea which can divide opinion in the education sector.

Is it truly necessary to acquire a capacity to learn; an ability that is seen as innate and instinctive? Or alternatively, does the skill of learning need cultivating?

Surely equipping people with the personal and study skills they need to get the most out of their learning experience can only be a positive thing?

At NCFE, we believe that an individual’s “learning muscles” can indeed be exercised and expanded to enhance achievement. That’s why we worked with Gateshead College to develop the NCFE Level 1 and 2 Awards in Learning to Learn.

Our Learning to Learn qualifications help new students master the essential skills they need for their learner journey; gain confidence by achieving a qualification at an early stage of their studies; experience a high quality standard induction to help them become a more effective and motivated learner and most importantly, reach their full potential.

Learning to Learn also offers an excellent opportunity for would-be apprentices to prepare for learning in the workplace.

The qualifications can also be delivered alongside other Progression to Apprenticeships qualifications such as our Occupational Studies suite, Developing Effective Thinking Skills and Employability Skills, to support young people to get the most out of their chosen study route. Having developed a wide, transferable skills base, apprentices will begin their Apprenticeship more confident and better prepared.

Overall, we believe that more effective learning really can be taught! Improving a young person’s learning prowess promotes engagement, provides individualised support and raises success and achievement.

Learners become prepared for their main course of study and any shortfall in learning can be addressed at an early stage. No learner comes to college as the finished article, so therefore we need to do all we can to ensure their learning experience is a positive one.

Whether it’s to support Access to Apprenticeship programmes or any other Apprenticeship pathway offer, we recognise that there’s no ‘one size fits all’.

We work flexibly with you to develop your own NCFE Progression to Apprenticeship package so that you can support your learners in the way you feel best.

David Grailey is chief executive of NCFE [advertisement]