Managing an apprentice is a rewarding experience.
Apprentices are usually highly motivated and excited about their apprenticeship. Tapping into that enthusiasm and energy whilst shaping and guiding the talent you need for your team; and seeing someone develop and grow in confidence is a great achievement.
We suggest some practical support and some motivational support for your apprentice, as well as some guidance if you are managing a younger apprentice.
1. Participate in their induction – you will get to know the College, what is expected of the apprentice, and be able to set in your own expectations from the outset. The Training Agreement you will sign includes an overview of the syllabus for each quarter.
2. Explore the College's Learning Zone with your apprentice - ask to see how this is laid out. For most Standards, we have a video at the beginning of each quarter explaining to you and the apprentice what is coming up. We are adding these regularly
3. Agree study times – these can be flexible. The apprenticeship will run more smoothly if you have agreed set days and times (and possibly place) for the apprentice to study.
4. Ensure the apprentice has uninterrupted Off The Job Training (OJT) at a minimum of 6 hours a week in work time – the apprentice will be studying, and completing the tasks we set. You can enhance this with additional practical training such as: shadowing; industry visits; and attending events during working hours.
If the apprentice need to pass any Functional Skills exams (in Maths and English) they will need additional time for this.
5. Attend Progress Reviews with the apprentice and the College – these are important to monitor progress. They include a report from the tutor, plans for the next 12 weeks study, and also provide an opportunity for you and the apprentice to feedback, ask questions and input ideas: Are there tasks coming up that you would like the apprenticeship to assist with? Are there additional needs that you would like addressed?
6. Have one-to-one meetings with your apprentice to discuss their learning – frequent short meetings are better than an hour once a month. Your apprentice is learning new skills every week.
Provide opportunities for your apprentice to put their new Knowledge Skills and Behaviours into practice – practical application will embed their learning and develop their new skills faster in their role. Are there tasks that the apprentice could take on to put their new knowledge and skills into practice?
7. Engage the rest of the organisation – make sure others know what your apprentice is doing and how they are progressing. They may be able to help with research tasks or specialist expertise and may offer opportunities for the apprentice to apply their new learning and skills. Some organisations ask the apprentice to give a presentation on their new knowledge.
8. Let us know what you think – we will keep you informed of the apprentice’s progress. However, if you have any new needs, issues, or questions….don’t wait until the next formal review. Let us know straight away. Contact email@example.com or call 01954 234 940
1. Be Supportive and Engaged – have frequent, regular discussions with your apprentice on what they are learning and how they are doing.
2. Monitor progress and give feedback
- – don’t let them lose momentum if they have a difficult patch - use constructive feedback. Celebrate success and achievements to boost confidence and determination.
3. Encourage questions and open discussion.
4. Offer guidance and signpost - don't spoon-feed
5. Remember you are their role model
Additional Support for younger apprentices
1. Very young apprentices with no prior experience of the working environment will need extra support and pastoral care. Make sure they understand what is expected of them.
2. Very young apprentices can also show inconsistent progress. This is normal and part of maturing into a role. Be prepared to be patient.
3. Arrange a mentor for your apprentice. Whilst not obligatory, it’s very helpful. The mentor can provide advice and further feedback outside the more formal relationship with you as their manager.