Apprenticeships will be an even more relevant and plausible path to career success in the transport and logistics sector as the Apprenticeship Levy unfolds, says David Cormack, strategic account director at System Group.
The Government’s commitment to dealing with the national skills shortage by opening three million more apprenticeships has to be seen as a welcome move but it has to be paid for. The Levy is set to drive an increase in both the scope and quality of the training undertaken by employers.
By turns, it will boost volume, creating opportunity for training providers who combine integrity and experience to deliver the requisite support, helping employers navigate issues of cost while simultaneously opening their eyes to the benefits of training and how a well-equipped, highly skilled and motivated workforce delivers a competitive, cutting edge.
While employers will focus on the use of those apprenticeships and occupations that have most benefit, there’s no suggestion that the outcome achieved by someone working towards a professional occupation in the transport and logistics sector via an apprenticeship should be considered anything other than equal to those who have pursued other paths. Indeed, in many ways the apprenticeship provides far more: a highly competent, accomplished and work ready employee from the moment they finish training.
The Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) has to also warrant a mention. This new body, set-up last November, is a further welcome move that will raise standards, setting the tone for the high quality of apprenticeships in England. It offers an employer-led approach to apprenticeship reform in England – ensuring that employers can drive the content and quality of apprenticeships in a way that will deliver the skilled workforce industry needs to prosper.
So, if you are looking to choose a training partner for your organisation, check that are registered on the Skills Funding Agencies’ Register of Approved Training Providers (RoATP). If not, they cannot deliver your apprenticeship programmes through the Levy scheme. Ensure also that they possess the necessary accreditations to deliver the courses specific to your organisation.
Make sure that they’re specialists in your sector. This will ensure that they understand your business and design and deliver apprenticeships that meet your needs – after all, you need an organisation that not only understands the logistics of your business, but the culture, the personality and the meaning of what it is to be a member of your organisation.
Ofsted is of course an important barometer to consider. Utilising the services of a training provider who is at least ‘Good’ offers reassurance that quality is to the fore and that services meet industry needs.