How do apprenticeships work?

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When you sign up with TSW Apprenticeships, we follow an easy to understand process that onboards employers, recruits new talent, and fully prepares the apprentices for the journey ahead. Here is how the apprenticeships sign-up and induction processes work.

Key points:

  • The sign-up process is for the employer and is led by TSW’s compliance and employer engagement team. The sign-up process guides you through all the paperwork and eligibility criteria.
  • The induction process is for the apprentice and is led by their Training Advisor. The induction process prepares the apprentice for the qualifications and considers their unique needs
  • Following the sign-up and induction process, the apprentice is ready to start their qualification under their TA’s guidance

What is the apprenticeship sign-up process?

The apprenticeship sign-up process is the initial employer onboarding stage. It’s a formality and the first interaction you have with your training provider.

There is no need to involve the apprentice at this stage, or even know who you want to enroll on the qualification. It’s all about reviewing your eligibility, recruitment, applying for funding paperwork and making sure your organisation meets specific health and safety criteria.

But, it’s not a cumbersome or demanding process. We’ll ask you questions and do all the heavy lifting.

Here’s how it works:

#1 The Apprenticeship consultation and information session

When you enquire about an apprenticeship, we’ll visit you to discuss your needs and introduce you to what an apprenticeship will actually involve for your business.

#2 Recruitment support, if you need it

We can help you to identify the people within your organisation who would benefit from the apprenticeship and inject skills into parts of your business you want to improve. We can also help you to source and shortlist external candidates too.

It’s a completely free consultation, so you can identify the opportunities, shortlist the candidates and learn about the work-based apprenticeship programme offered by the Welsh Government.

#3 Health and safety appraisal

Our customer engagement team conduct a health and safety appraisal.

It’s a mandatory exercise to prove your organisation is a safe environment for Welsh Government apprentices. We conduct and manage the paperwork entirely, so all you need to do is show us around and supply some information and documents.

Once complete, it’s valid for four years, so you can easily take on more apprentices, or bring other qualifications into your organisation.

#3 We do the eligibility checks

Our compliance team walk you through the first batch of paperwork. You need to supply six pieces of evidence proving your worker’s eligibility. We support you at every step of the way.

#4 Your employee signs the learner agreement

Your learner is invited to join a 30-minute call, or Teams meeting, to go through the details and verify the information is correct.

The learner agreement outlines what the learner, employer and apprenticeship training provider are committing to in the apprenticeship. The date it’s signed is the start date of the apprenticeship. We’ll email you to confirm the wheels are in motion and your apprentice has returned their agreement.

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What is the apprenticeship induction process?

The apprenticeship induction is all about your employee, the apprentice. It introduces them to the qualifications and establishes what support they will need throughout their learning.

Here’s how it works:

#1 Your apprentice is assigned a training advisor

Your apprentice is assigned to one of our subject experts.

Their Training Advisor will be their guide throughout the apprenticeship journey, and a point of contact for you, alongside the employer engagement and quality team.

An information session between the apprentice and their assigned TSW Training Advisor is their first taste of the apprenticeship ahead and starts the induction process.

For the apprentice, the session offers an opportunity to ask questions about their course and qualifications, plus get to know their assigned TSW contact, who will guide and support their learning for the duration of their apprenticeship.

#2 The qualification-focused pre-interview

Following the initial meeting, the Training Advisor hosts a pre-interview with the apprentice, which covers the formalities of the apprenticeship:

  • The expectation of the course, covering the qualifications and levels such as the National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ), Essential Skills Wales (ESW), Batchelor of Technology (BTech), or Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM)
  • The level of commitment expected, covering timeframes, off the job training, and progress reviews which will also support health and wellbeing
  • A skills scan which assesses their suitability
  • The eligibility criteria, listing the evidence they will need to supply during the official sign-up process

#3 The official sign-up

Under the Training Advisor’s guidance, the apprentice will complete all the paperwork required to get started on the apprenticeship. They will talk about and submit:

  • Individual Learning Plan
  • Learning Agreement
  • Health and Safety Induction questionnaire
  • Learning Styles
  • Learner Handbook

The Training Advisor will ask about past learning experiences, qualifications, and any additional needs that may impact learning. They will also revisit the Essential Skills Wales qualifications, and introduce ESDGC, Prevent, British Values, WEST, e-portfolio, plus how Welsh language and other skills will be developed throughout the learner journey.

#4 Accessing their portfolio and taking an ability screening

The apprentice receives their log in details for their e-portfolio.

They are also screened for their listening, reading, writing, digital knowledge and maths ability, using WEST diagnostics. The Training Advisor walks the apprentice through the results and plans for additional support and upskilling, recommending workshop opportunities where appropriate.

At the end of the four-step induction process, the apprentice is ready to start their programme.

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What are employer engagement visits?

Feedback and evaluation helps us to see how successfully the learning is transferring into your organisation, so we can help you measure the returns.

That’s why we book in a six-month Employer Engagement Visit health check with you and your apprentice.

We walk the candidate through a quick survey, where we discuss their learning experience so far and the quality of the programme. The questions are standardised, so we can collate and compare data between organisations to apply real adjustments.

Then we review with you to see if the programme is meeting your expectations, whether you’re able to engage with the apprentices and their work, and if you’ve noticed the candidate demonstrate knowledge and competence.

We’re on hand to support you with any queries as the apprenticeship progresses.

Ready to get started?

If you’re recruiting and you want to think about the long-term performance of your organisation and people, apprenticeships help you to do that. Contact us and discover the possibilities.

When you sign up with TSW Apprenticeships, we follow an easy to understand process, to make sure you get the right people taking the right apprenticeships to support your business growth.

  • We ensure the apprenticeship is relevant to and will enhance the roles within your organisation
  • We’re committed to stretch and challenge your people to be high achievers
  • We’re passionate about employer engagement and we’re on the learning journey with you for the duration of their qualifications
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Richard Hywood
Richard is TSW Training Apprenticeships’ Employer and Community Engagement Manager. His articles will help your business prepare for and manage apprentices.
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