Improving the professional development of staff to deliver effective Apprenticeships

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Jenny Williams, Director of Vocational Education and Training


National Apprenticeship Week always brings out new examples of the energy and vibrancy of apprentices and apprenticeship programmes and this year has been no exception.  It is clear that apprenticeships are getting the profile they deserve as a vital way of training and developing people to start their careers and develop the occupational expertise needed for future prosperity and growth.

But it’s also worth remembering that behind the many excellent apprenticeship programmes are teachers, trainers and coaches, as well as managers, mentors and colleagues who are all putting in time and commitment to support apprentices and help them succeed.

That’s why the Education and Training Foundation has commissioned and funded the Apprenticeship Staff Support Programme (ASSP). The programme, which is delivered by the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) and partners, has worked with staff in colleges, training providers and adult community learning, to help them to develop resources based on their experiences of day to day delivery, that can then be shared more widely to improve the professional development of staff to deliver effective Apprenticeships.

The resources are focused on two strands:

  • developing employer involvement in apprenticeship delivery
  • improving curriculum development, and teaching, learning and assessment on apprenticeship programmes

Last month I was privileged to attend the launch event of the programme in Birmingham, where apprenticeship staff came together to share the resources they had developed, explore how they could be used and exchange ideas on how they could be spread more widely across the education and training sector.

What stood out for me is the real innovation in the way teachers and trainers have been working with employers to design professional development that meets both of their needs, so that collaboratively they can deliver both the on and off the job aspects of apprenticeships.

The resources are already benefiting teachers and trainers, the apprentices they work with, their employers and the communities that they serve.You can find out more by watching our short series of videos from some of the colleges and providers involved.

The ASSP programme continues, encouraging more and more people right across the sector to take advantage of the resources, to adapt them for their own situations and to make use of the investment their peers have made in professional development for staff running apprenticeships. 

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