Apprenticeships are a hot topic in the pub sector, as operators look for ways to retain staff in the wake of Brexit and larger businesses consider how to invest their apprenticeship levy funding.
With many changes happening, particularly as we move from apprenticeship frameworks to standards, setting up a development plan can seem like a daunting task – but it needn’t be. A bit of well thought-out planning can make a big difference when it comes to establishing a training strategy to be proud of. Before setting out on this journey, here are my top points for consideration.
All businesses in our industry are different, as are the people who work in them. The first step of setting up a programme is to look at your business goals, then the career aspirations of your team and any skills gaps you may have. Working with a training provider, you can then find the right apprenticeships to collectively meet these objectives.
Most companies will already have some form of staff training in place, but a common pitfall when setting up an apprenticeship scheme is not mapping these existing skills and knowledge into that structure. This can mean you effectively end up paying twice for the training. At HIT, we work with clients to ensure they have a bespoke scheme which matches their individual requirements and that they’re maximising their levy funding.
One of the main differences between the new apprenticeship standards compared to the old frameworks system is that learners will now have to complete one assessment at the end of their course. The end-point assessment (EPA) can include multiple-choice tests, observations, a professional discussion and a written project. While apprenticeships are geared to helping employees be the best they can be in their job, it’s also important to put steps in place throughout the 12-month learning to ensure they are geared up for the EPA. At HIT, our trainers meet with their learners regularly to check how they are finding the training and to ensure nothing comes as a surprise.
After developing a market-leading apprenticeship programme, don’t forget to tell people about it! This is vital when it comes to recruitment and retention. Companies which invest in staff development are seen as a more attractive place to work – particularly amongst Millennials – and for a sector with an increasing skills shortage, it’s fundamental.
As we start a New Year, there’s no better time to evaluate your training and how apprenticeships can fit into this.
Apprenticeships have never been so relevant and in-line with the requirements of our sector. There is undoubtedly an appetite for high-quality training and career progression opportunities from the talented people we have in the sector. I urge all publicans to make the most of the benefits afforded by the apprenticeship changes and start thinking carefully about how investing in staff development can lead their business to future success.