Rarely out of the education media, apprenticeships are a hot topic both politically and educationally speaking. Finding the right way to plan, prepare, deliver and assess these new standards in a manner that is attractive to learners and employers alike is one of the biggest challenges facing colleges.
Do it right, and an apprenticeship offer can put your college ahead of its competitors. Get it wrong and you risk wasting investment and losing engagement.
Not sure how technology can help? Jisc’s experts can give tailored advice on a range of guidance, products and services which will support you to deliver apprenticeships dynamically and efficiently.
Using our solid knowledge of effective practice in colleges, you may also benefit from a review, partly using a new, dynamic apprenticeship journey toolkit that Jisc has recently produced. It shows the end-to-end pathway for apprenticeships, taking into account the needs of colleges, learners and employers.
Divided into four sections – preparation, planning, delivery and assessment – this step-by-step toolkit shows the actions to cover at each stage, together with potential opportunities and pitfalls. It also clearly outlines specific examples where technology can be positively exploited.
There’s no charge for this initial practical support and assistance – it’s covered under your Jisc membership. Your account manager will be able to tell you more.
In terms of preparation, colleges will need an apprenticeship strategy: a clear vision to articulate to staff, learners and employers.
We suggest this forms part of a wider digital strategy that fosters a digitally-ready culture, with robust IT infrastructure and well-trained and motivated staff.
We’ll help you:
- review existing practice and create a new, digital approach that aligns with business goals and improves the learning experience
- make the most of existing infrastructure and plan for new developments
- embed a blended learning approach
- upskill staff and build their confidence in the use of education technology
All of this should come together to meet one optimal aim: to provide a top-class apprenticeship experience. After all, an excellent learning experience is more likely to lead to better outcomes and, ultimately, more success for your college.
Further benefits of technology
As you know, apprentices have slightly different needs to other learners, particularly because they are likely to be away from college for periods of on-the-job training. It’s important they are not left isolated, but feel the benefits of supportive and inclusive processes. Technology can play a huge role in keeping them motivated, informed and connected to their teachers, mentors and peers.
Tech can also help in other ways:
- avoiding the wastefulness of ad hoc purchases
- making best use of data analytics to inform decisions (understanding how learners use tech and what they want from it)
- reducing paperwork and streamlining admin tasks (for example, with the use of e-forms and digital signatures)
- enabling effective three-way communication and collaboration between the college, apprentices and employers
- placing induction information, individual learning plans, feedback and assessments in one place online, to which all parties have access
- providing quality online content
- equipping apprentices with digital skills relevant for life and the workplace
- improving retention, achievement and satisfaction.
There is more information on how Jisc can help you with apprenticeships on our website, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.