Getting an employer to take someone on work experience
Should an employer take on work placements?
The hardest part of Traineeships and Apprenticeships is getting the employer to take on a work placement.
Before the government incentives, where there’s cash for an employer to take a trainee on board, I think traineeships were looked down on because they were the pre-apprenticeship and employers didn’t really value them.
“there’s cash for an employer to take a trainee on board”
It’s going to be easier now, with the government training grants, but do employers truly understand what a traineeship role is?
That’s where we come in to go through that and explain how it works.
Is there the perception of apprenticeships being old school?
There’s over 500 different apprenticeship disciplines and frameworks but I don’t think a lot of employers actually understand this. The perception of apprenticeships is a 17-year-old coming in and doing a three years hands-on work.
“There’s over 500 different apprenticeship disciplines and frameworks but I don’t think a lot of employers actually understand this”.
And it’s very, very different now. The discussions we were having in terms of how do we help to get a quality, referral worthy employer actually gets this.
What if someone isn’t ready for an Apprenticeship?
The traineeship is the stepping stone to an apprenticeship.
Since we get a lot of CV’s come through from interested people who want the apprenticeship, we’ve noticed that a lot of them aren’t ready to do an apprenticeship yet.
“a lot of them aren’t ready to do an apprenticeship yet.”
They fail the interview. The feedback is, “That person needs that bit of training before they go into a job role.”
And that’s where the traineeship comes in.
So what is the process within a Traineeship?
There are three elements:
- Functional skills
- Work placement
About Functional Skills – the basics.
There are five levels of functional skills. There are pre-entry level, one, two, three, and then… there’s level one and level two.
There are a lot of people from disadvantaged backgrounds, ex-offenders, long-term unemployed, people just basically were not good at school. Functional skills help them build the basics.
In this country there are 7 million people in work with the average reading age of an 11-year-old because they did not progress at school.
“7 million people in work with the average reading age of an 11-year-old.”
So as a provider, we need to give them functional skills. It could be that the whole traineeship falls apart because the people you’ve got coming through are so far back.
They’ve got to do some element of functional skills with regards to traineeship.
About Work Experience – the basics.
There’s no tests or exams. It’s all done through assessments, observation, questioning & work products.
“There’s no tests or exams.”
The training is classroom teaching. We’re not teaching in a working environment. It’s classroom teaching.
How do you get Trainees ready for an Apprenticeship?
We go through interview skills, CV writing and how to even complete an application form. Then it’s working with the employer, because we’ve got to make sure that the units that are delivered match what’s required in the job role that you’re going to do.
“We go through interview skills, CV writing and how to even complete an application form.”
So if you’ve got a digital marketing traineeship, we’re not going to teach the person about pure customer service, but there will always be an element of customer service, because every job role has customer service.
So what is the training process for Apprenticeship?
There’s different assessment types within the apprenticeship. An assessor will come out and observe a learner deliver
a piece of work,
or deliver a presentation,
or respond to a complaint from a customer.
“An assessor will come out and observe a learner.”
Now the assessor observes that learner do that task, but then will also ask questions about what they’ve done. An email trail of how that complaint was resolved.
It is important that the employer knows the process because then they’ll be expecting the assessors to then update after each visit. We do 12 weekly reviews with the employer as well.
Having a clear job description from the employer, even for a traineeship.
Many employers haven’t got job descriptions but it’s an important requirement, especially if it’s around a defined role. The employer should talk to the training provider about what type of role they’re looking for.
“Many employers haven’t got job descriptions but it’s an important requirement”
1. There’s mandatory units that need to be completed.
2. Optional units where they’re fitted around the job description.
The aim is to make sure that person is competent, understands the role, so that the employer doesn’t have to look over their shoulder every five minutes to make sure they’re doing their job correctly.
What’s the number one employer objection taking on an Apprentice?
A major thing that puts employers off is, “Oh, if I get a trainee on board, then I’ve got to spend all my time training them.”
Some business owners may abdicate a little bit where they just say, “The training’s being dealt with, so I don’t need to do it.” There is an element of handholding, and you expect the assessor delivering the qualification to deliver the training.
But if you want some to work in your business, you would, by necessity, need to do some form of training and support for that person. And that’s where the disconnect is.
So when that person does come in and do the work placement with you, they can get on with it. They would still require an element of support, but you shouldn’t be sitting there with them eight hours a day.
What are the benefits to taking on trainees?
£1000. So then the question we always get asked, “When do I get it?” They get £500 at the start and then it’s split during the traineeship and the end.
But from my end, it’s certain employers are not bothered about the money, some employers that’s their sole focus.
And our job is to take those employers and bring them back into a bit of a middle ground. It’s somebody’s personal life, career, you’re helping them from where they are to where they want to be.
Should I promote an apprenticeship locally to get the best candidates?
It looks great for an employer to take in trainees within the local community! If people who are currently not in education, training, or employment come through a company like yours and take them further, advertise and promote that!
You’re going to get better quality trainees and apprenticeships coming through if they know that you are going to look after them and they are going to progress.
Author Credit: Intec Business Colleges
Intec Business Colleges are a national independent training provider, established since 1982.
Their head office is in Rugby, and from there they have satellite offices in Northampton, Nottingham and Leicester. The main part of the company is that we deliver apprenticeships. They also have a recruitment team as well, whereby they recruit Apprentices into Apprenticeship roles.
We used to deliver just IT courses to job seekers, but now that’s opened up. We’ve got ILM courses, leadership, and team leading, management courses, we’ve got retail, business admin, customer service, event planning, retail to name but a few.
So that’s what the side of the company I worked for on top of that, we also deliver traineeships to job seekers. We currently work with NHS in Coventry and warwickshire.
We also find the employer as well. We through our recruitment team, and all we can work in partnership with an employer, and manage the work placement in that way.