No Image Available

Seb Anthony

Read more from Seb Anthony

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Work based training


I have recently joined a work based training provider dealing with the Modern Apprenticeship scheme and I am in the process of planning for our LSC contract for 2003/4.

I would be interested to gather peoples thoughts & experiences good/bad about the scheme and how it is promoted.

Do you see it as second rate to college/university provision or do you think it allows you to develop staff from the out set to provide you with your long term staffing requirements?
Gareth Pugh

8 Responses

  1. Apprenticeships
    I have worked in a call centre where I managed the apprentices and it was without a doubt the worst training experience I had ever seen.

    We used a large provider who did their best but the key skills and lack of motivation to prepare a portfolio switched students off training. Our internal programmes were focused on skills needed for their job and in bit sized chunks, they turned up did exercises and eventually built up a training profile which management and clients contributed to as well as the student. This worked much better.

    The company I work for now will not consider Modern Apprenticehips. Their recruitment and selection process demands critical thinking and literacy and communication ability. Their view is that any young person coming up to the standards required to come into the organisation will be on a high flyer internal training programme. They will recieve performance pay related to talent not their ability to collect paper!

    Our current list of preferred training suppliers does not include any providers that deal with LSC funded programmes.

    I understand that the payments to providers by the LSC are also very low and that generally targets are being set to conclude over a period of 12-16 months with penalties if there is early completion. I doubt that assists the situation.

    I recently promoted an MA programme in IT to some employers at an exhibition run by training providers offering choices. This was quite positive but the majority of employers wanted to be paid for training the young people and interest was low once they realised that most have an employment contract.

    The surplus graduate programme and placement of graduates schemes are preferred. Vocational LSC funded training appears from our experience to be viewed as low grade and second rate by most employers.

    Young people’s expectations are not met either as they often enter into them with unrealistic expectations too.

    If employers could access the funds and train staff using their preferred suppliers then there would be more interest.

    Emma Thorpe

  2. Work Based Learning
    Having worked for a national training provider for several years as a Senior Manager, I would be happy to share my thoughts and experiences.
    [email protected]

  3. Mod apps – where to start
    Well Gareth….it’s interesting to see some of the other views! I used to work for an NTO myself but I now work for a company as a learning and development manager so I’ve seen things from both perspectives.
    First point to bear in mind is that most people through no fault of their own confuse the issues of NVQ’s Mod Apps and the LSC funding issues. It’s usulally one or the other that causes the confusion and often colours peoples views.
    Therefore, when working with clients, make sure that as much of the work as possible is tailored to the specific workplace…i.e give examples of exactly what people should provide as evidence…don’t be vague. You should also prepare work based projects which specifically relate to the company in question. It takes a little time to prepare, but the learners will find it so much more relevant.
    As for the promotion bit, most government funded promotional work is a bit generic as they want to cover all sides. Best to try and make something as specific as possible.
    As a general point…my recommendation would be…Mod Apps are a great idea, but as a provider, work closely with your trainees employer(s) to make the content of delivery and the assessment process as work based as possible. The mod app is purely a framework, it’s up to you as a developer of people to use your imagination and make it work for your group.

    Hope this helps


  4. Modern Apprenticeship
    Last year I ran a workshop for Retention Officers (sponsored by Learning and Skills Council) and some very interesting issues came out of the day relating to recruitment and retention (the latter a MAJOR problem).
    I would be happy to share the outcomes with you. I can be contacted on 01484 658358 or 07808 760555
    Terry Gregory

  5. LSC funded MA
    The structure of the MA with the outcomes specific to the Government’s requirements is wrapped up in the LSC requirements. I know of no private funders of the MA programme as it is not a preferred route for most employers. In other words if the LSC were not paying for it would it happen?

    I went to numerous meetings with other call centre personnel and mixed with other businesses too, none could adapt the MA to suit their needs. Call centres have a swift turnover particularly, and at the 18-24 group even more so.

    I would be keen to hear of those providers who can adapt the framework to suit. We had 25 students in our last place and the funding was not enough apparently to get the tailoring we wanted!

    More info would be good.

  6. They aren’t second rate, university and college isn’t for everyo
    Having spent 6 years selling MA’s for a national company,I have seen the changes.
    Your priority if you are not familar with the delievry, is to get to know this. Spend time with your assessors on the road out in the workplace (which incidently I believe is the right way to deliever and not in colleges).
    Get the real picture so you can sell it on, even complete an NVQ yourself so you fully understand the requirements from the candidates point of view.
    There is real commitment required here by both companies and the candidate and if they are sold it in the wrong way then they are put off for life.
    As I say, they aren’t second rate, as we all learn in different ways and this an ideal route.

  7. Employer’s perspective
    We have looked at these as part of a recruitment programme and have found against the process.

    The model for us does not add up in time needed to be spent in the workplace. Over a 12 month period we would be looking at 12 sessions minimum with the staff working with their assessors for an hour each time. Then on top of that there is the key skills time away from the office and portfolio building also.

    The two providers we met were great but I drew the line at potential further visits from the ALI, EV et al. There seemed also to be the idea that there would be discussions with the employee ‘to see how they liked’ their job and our feelings on that was it consituted interference with the employment contract.

    Our employees have good relationships with their line managers and were upset at external involvements to the extent they said they didn’t want to do NVQs and came up with a scheme that they were interested in.

    We agree that a lot of good employees find the process easier but employers find it hard going. We had at the time 10 staff who were entitled to train in this way and the loss of hours meant we looked for an in-house programme that gave unit accreditation and was hassle free. A lot of the non academic under 25s are not motivated to achieve qualifications and we found a seminar approach alongside their peers worked well and delivered the results.

    My understanding of this is that the terms of the funding mean providers have to visit regularly and that for small businesses is the real issue. Any ideas how this can be altered and I would look at it again, but on what I have seen so far it is not workable for the empployer.

    Lime One Ltd

  8. Another perspective …
    .. and glad to say, a positive one too.
    We have found the MA programme to be an excellent means of providing a practical programme of development, to a set standard (and it is important to maintain that standard), whilst allowing the workplace culture to be formed at the same time.
    In our opinion it is not second rate to college/university provision and it certainly does allow us to provide for longer term staffing requirements.
    Some important points –
    1. Ensure the recruitment and selection process is capable of delivering the ‘right’ candidate(s).
    2. Choose the provider with care.
    3. Provide a challenge for the Modern Apprentice.
    4. Ensure sufficient resource to allow them to grow and develop in line with their capability and your needs.
    No comment on funding via LSC!


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!