People Puzzles currently works with Dudley College to provide apprenticeship training at Pedigree Wholesale. We asked the college how employers tend to engage with training providers and how much time apprentices need to spend with them.
Pedigree currently has 33 staff members on apprenticeships at its Midlands depot, studying business and administration, customer service and management. All are trained by tutors at Dudley College, one of the largest training providers in the UK with around 5,000 apprentices currently on their books.
Where does the training take place?
‘At Pedigree, the college comes to them,’ says Nick Thompson, who heads up Dudley’s employer engagement team. ‘The majority of our apprentices are trained in the workplace. We have a peripatetic workforce who deliver all over the UK on-site.’
How much time does an apprentice spend on training?
‘There are rules around this,’ Nick explains. ‘They must be employed at least 30 hours a week and must spend 20% of their time in some form of learning. With us, a tutor will come out and spend a full day per month with a learner, teaching them and watching them while in action.’
What activities count as training?
The 20% off-the-job requirement with any apprenticeship can scare some employers who feel they cannot afford to lose that amount of work hours. However, Nick points out that many work activities count toward this 20%. ‘In a Level 5 Management course for example, a team meeting, extra reading or simply trying something new, all count,’ he says.
How is work assessed?
Tutors use real-life workplace issues to study, and they assess the learner delivering what they’ve learned through observation and portfolio work. Dudley College has an online platform called Smart Assessor where learners can view their learning materials, upload portfolio work, log relevant activities and contact their tutors. ‘Video-conference your tutor also counts towards your 20%,’ says Nick. ‘You can do that daily if needed.’
Dudley College is a strategic partner with the Chartered Management Institute, which means its management courses are CMI accredited. ‘One of my clients has 43 supervisors currently doing a Team Leader Level 3 qualification,’ says Nick. ‘At the end they will all be associate members of the CMI. If they go on to Level 5 they become full chartered members and get the ACMI nominal after their name.’
For many young people, apprenticeships are an attractive proposition and Nick has seen learners do very well from them. ‘I know someone who went all the way up to Masters level on courses funded by apprenticeships,’ says Nick. ‘He is now 23, he has just bought a house and has zero student debt.’
To find out more about how to get started with apprenticeships, look out for our blog post on Friday on how to get started, or call People Puzzles on 020 3239 3307.
To find out more information about the apprenticeship training courses offered by Dudley College, visit www.dudleycol.ac.uk
6th March: The view from training provider Dudley College