One of the most common motivation phrases out there is that it is the journey that matters, rather than the destination.
The origin of the quotation, which is mostly if incorrectly attributed to the author TS Elliot, is unknown, but some studies highlight how effective looking at our progression towards a goal is.
Whilst it is important to focus on the journey, as well as the first steps to get an apprentice on that journey, it is also of paramount importance to focus on the destination, and keep that ultimate purpose in mind when devising an apprenticeship pathway.
One concern that is raised surprisingly often in apprenticeship consultancy is the issue of the purpose of a course, particularly since there is a clear endpoint in mind for many training providers and employers.
They want to see a young person get equipped with the right skills to thrive in their chosen profession and end with a job that suits their skills and that they are fully capable of doing.
Here are some ways to focus on the destination and how it can help achieve better teaching outcomes.
Better Understanding Of The Role
An apprentice is not filling a job vacancy when they are hired by an organisation, but instead is a budding talent that is being developed with the help of a mix of structured education and hands-on experience.
The employers with the most successful approach to hiring apprentices are looking beyond the short term. An apprentice is an investment in the future of an organisation and an industry, and the chance to train a future industry leader from the ground up.
As such, it is important to look at where an apprentice is set to fit into the company by the end of their placement, often months if not years in the future.
As such, it is best to look not at what an apprentice is capable of at the start of the placement but what skills, abilities and knowledge they need to thrive at its conclusion.
This allows the journey to be effectively structured and tailored towards a specific goal. The clearer the route, the easier it is to measure progress.
Clearly Demonstrating Expectations
Apprentices deserve the opportunity to showcase themselves at their best, and the best way to do this is to ensure they are fully aware of what is expected of them during assessments.
An apprenticeship assessment consists not only of standardised tests, but also a presentation and related interview, a project and a practical assessment.
Collectively these are known as end-point assessments and is undertaken by an independent organisation with a particular set of expectations.
By having an exemplar of what you want to see in an apprentice, you can design your EPA around fitting the needs of your business and the particular specialised role, and effectively communicate what you expect from apprentices.
By working with a clear end goal in mind, apprenticeship providers and EPAOs can work together to design assessments that assess the right qualities in a way that will adequately prepare them for the world of work.