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Tips to Cut Apprenticeship Drop Out


Apprenticeship drop out figures would be cut if more attention was paid to matching the trainee to their course, according to a study by the Learning and Skills Development Agency (LSDA).

The LSDA has produced a series of tips for those running Modern Apprenticeships.

It cites success factors that include:
* Providing plenty of information about the training programme and work placement;
45% of early leavers do not know enough about their Modern Apprenticeship programme when they start.
* Matching the learner with the right apprenticeship programme at the right level.. Examples included in the report are short tasters, a skills scan and a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) to help learners to identify their preferences.
* Careful monitoring of progress and satisfaction, with early identification of ‘at risk’ learners, followed by fast, corrective action.
* Strategies to increase learners’ motivation. These need to be linked to trends in drop-out and implemented early enough to make a difference.
* Stronger links with employers. Lack of engagement by the employers and the paucity of information given to learners by some employers are factors influencing decision to leave early.
* Support systems, such as mentoring and ‘buddy’ systems, help to make learners feel that they belong and keep them motivated. Diagnosing the support needed on an individual basis and making arrangements to put this in place quickly are important.

Vikki Smith, development adviser at LSDA and co-author of the report, says: “What comes across clearly in our research is the importance of matching the right individual with the right programme as trainees often leave early because the course was not what they anticipated.

"The problem may simply be the need for more support and guidance. But no single action will work on its own. What’s needed is a combination of different strategies.“


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