A new survey from the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (ifATE) has found that 87% of apprentices would recommend their apprenticeship to others.
The survey, carried out between April and June, was created by the ifATE’s panel of apprentices and gained over 1,000 responses.
The majority of respondents (81%) feel they have been equipped with skills that will enable them to adapt to future developments within their chosen field. A similar percentage (82%) agreed that their apprenticeship has laid the foundations for a successful career.
However, while most respondents were satisfied with their apprenticeship programme, the survey flagged several areas for improvement, specifically in relation to off-the-job training.
Almost one third (32%) of respondents reported getting less than 20% off-the-job training. Just over six in ten (62%) get at least 20% off-the-job training, the same percentage who said they were either satisfied or very satisfied with the time they got to complete this training.
Worryingly, 6% of apprentices reported receiving no off-the-job training at all.
When asked about the documents they should have read, signed or seen, only 59% of apprentices said they had seen or read their occupational standard. Just over half (55%) had seen or read their assessment plan, while 85% had signed a commitment statement.
The apprentice panel has made several recommendations for the Institute off the back of the results. They are as follows:
- Adequate preparation for End Point Assessment (EPA) should be defined and made compulsory in the delivery of apprenticeship standards.
- More steps should be taken to make sure apprentices get their entitlement to 20% off-the-job training.
- Set out best practice in delivering apprenticeship training and make sure all providers and employers deliver on- and off-job training to at least the minimum defined level.
- Minimum standards of pastoral care of apprentices by employers and training providers should be defined and delivered, recognising especially the situation of young apprentices and those with caring responsibilities.
- More steps to be taken in the advertising of apprenticeships to promote the value of apprentices to employers, and apprentices’ own perceptions of the value of on-the-job learning.
- The creation of a strengthened commitment statement that emphasises the quality of apprenticeship delivery, to hold providers and employers to account and assist in meeting the recommendations above.
FENews cites ifATE’s chief executive, Jennifer Coupland, as saying: “I was delighted that the vast majority of [apprentices] would recommend apprenticeships to other people.
“However, it’s not good enough that around a third reported they are still not getting their full quota of training. There is clearly more work to do so we are fully supporting the panel’s recommendations.”