Article by John Hirst
21st July 2022
One of the questions I always get asked is about timely achievement and why this is important. The answer is always a resounding ‘Yes’. Before Covid-19 struck, the industry was struggling with financial investment and a lack of funding from central government. It was relatively straightforward to recruit new employees as you always had staff living on your doorsteps and childcare looked appealing to school and college leavers.
Then came the global pandemic and the industry suddenly grinded to a halt. Putting the workforce on furlough was a fantastic idea and it did protect jobs, but it also gave people an opportunity to look around and to explore other options. Several employers have reported that many of their more experienced staff didn’t return from the first and second lockdowns as they found employment elsewhere for better pay or roles that gave them an option to work from home. I would like to personally thank all these practitioners for supporting key workers at a crucial time and for the dedication they showed to their industry – many will be missed.
Simply recruit new staff we all said – not as easy as it sounds as more and more young people are looking for the stay at home jobs or looking to develop careers through further education options. Some see the sector as vulnerable to possible future waves of Covid-19 and further lockdowns therefore, less appealing as a long term job prospect. This is being felt equally across the wider care industry, hospitality and retail sectors.
Yes, I am coming round to timely achievement – as staff have become scarcely available, nursery settings are having to put more faith (and hours) into the experienced teams they already have on the books. New staff have to be supported and mentored while they work through their apprenticeships and the longer this takes, the more pressure is heaped on the more experienced staff. Timely achievement means that the learners achieve on time, can mentor and support the next intake of apprentices and ultimately protect/safeguard the children and the organisation they work for.
So, in simply explaining; achieving an apprenticeship on the planned end date supports your staff development needs, which in turn supports the longevity and sustainability of the business; this in turn protects the welfare of the children within your care. Simple really?
At Eden, we provide all our employers and apprentices access to flexible programmes of learning with the apprentice at the heart of everything we do. Our apprentices receive remote training of the highest quality through live teaching sessions with expert Skills Teachers, receive observation visits from our Skills Assessors and are supported throughout their programme by a single point of contact, their Skills Coach, who coordinates all activities and keeps the employer up to date with all progression.
So the next time you speak to an apprenticeship provider, ask the question ‘do your apprentices achieve on time’? You may find there are less providers out there saying ‘Yes’ to this question than you think?