Apprenticeship scheme reviewed at King's Lynn HR forum held at KLIC
In a recent HR forum held at King's Lynn Innovation Centre, local business owners and managers discussed some of the issues and concerns they have about the apprenticeship scheme.
They questioned whether the training was up to date or providing the right skills or to required standard. They also wondered if some of the learning might be out of date or inappropriate to their sector.
Businesses in rural areas find that it can be a challenge for young people to get to the college or training provider as they don’t have their own transport and there is limited public transport.
Getting interest and finding the right applicants can be a challenge and instilling work ethic and managing performance can be problematic.
One local apprentice programme provider works with apprentices as the employer – looking after the practical aspects such as holiday pay, and sick pay and importantly providing “pastoral” support to the apprentices,helping them though any personal difficulties or problems they might encounter as they transition from school or college or change of career, to employment.
This also helps local SME businesses as it relieves them of the responsibilities as employer until the apprentice completes his or her training.
An alternative to apprenticeships is a short induction or skills training course – rather than a lengthy and somewhat complex apprenticeship programme. This can be sufficient to prepare a new employee for a job and to acquire the initial skills needed to be effective.
We heard from one local employer who put new employees through a 12-week training course and after that they are ready to start work.
At Human Capital Department, we work with employers and have helped a number of companies to develop “career road maps”. These identify what skills are needed initially and what skills and competencies employees need to demonstrate to be considered for a promotion.
This has helped these companies to attract and retain employees at a time of low unemployment and skills shortages.