The Institute expects members of trailblazer groups to promote new apprenticeship standards to other key stakeholders, that is training providers, end-point assessment organisations and other employers.
It is important to start this process as you are developing your apprenticeship standard, rather than leaving it until it is approved for delivery.
1. Training provider readiness
In most cases, training providers will deliver the off-the-job training for an apprenticeship standard and any mandatory qualifications it may include.
Training providers can be Universities, Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), Further Education Colleges, private training organisations or employer-providers. Any training providers who deliver apprenticeship training must be on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP).
Delivering a new apprenticeship standard is a challenging process for training providers. They need time to prepare, to ensure they can meet employer demand and expectations. For this reason alone, it makes sense to engage with some of them early on in the development process. They can also be an expert source of input and feedback during the whole development process, as well as helping with promotion to employers once the apprenticeship standard is approved for delivery.
You may need training providers to provide delivery quotes to inform our funding band recommendation.
There are training provider networks that can help you make contact with them and you may be able to attend their network meetings or conferences to tell them about your new apprenticeship standard.
The Association of Colleges (AoC) and Association of Employer and Learning Providers (AELP) are happy to help you make contact with training providers in their networks. They have set up a central email account through which you can make such requests: Trailblazers@aoc.co.uk
Trailblazers wishing to seek support from Universities/HEIs can contact the University Vocational Awards Council (UVAC) email@example.com
The AoC holds current, national data on college apprenticeship and skills provision and can help you identify colleges with provision that matches to your needs, as well as running national and regional networks.
AELP operates 15 sectoral forums that meet quarterly, with regular inputs from trailblazer groups on new apprenticeship standards.
2. End-Point Assessment organisation (EPAO) readiness
The independent end-point assessment of each apprentice against the occupational standard at the end of the apprenticeship is a fundamental element of each apprenticeship standard. It must be undertaken by an organisation on the Register of End-Point Assessment Organisations (RoEPAO) for the apprenticeship standard in question.
As with training providers, it makes sense to involve EPAOs early on in the development process. In particular, they can be an expert source of input into the EPA development process.
You may need a EPAOs to supply a delivery quote to inform the Institute’s funding band recommendation.
Some questions you should consider here are:
- Are you communicating and consulting with a wide range of potential EPAOs?
- Are potential EPAOs on the RoEPAO or planning to apply in relation to your apprenticeship standard?
- Have you engaged with EPAOs to discuss any other support you can give them to ensure they are ready to deliver end-point assessments?
- Is your nominated External Quality Assurance body ready?
3. Employer awareness
Employers need to be aware of the new apprenticeship standard and how they can expect to benefit from it. Only then will they start to promote it enthusiastically to potential apprentices. As the designers of the apprenticeship standard, your trailblazer group is best placed to do this. Greater employer awareness of the apprenticeship standard should also help with engaging training providers and EPAOs.
Some questions you should consider here are:
- Have you considered developing a marketing strategy to increase awareness amongst the widest range of employers? For example, the Media Trailblazer group developed a video to raise awareness of the journalism apprenticeship. It features contributions from apprentices, training providers and employers from the newspaper, magazine, broadcast and online sectors
- Are you keeping interested employers up to date on progress with developing the standard and EPA plan?
- Are there trade associations or sector groups that can help with promoting your apprenticeship?
- Are there trade journals/magazines that you can access to promote it?
- Could you arrange press releases and news stories for significant milestones for example, your apprenticeship being approved for delivery, or your first starts on the apprenticeship?
- Have you considered developing tools or guidance for employers who might not know as much as you about the new standard?
- Are you as the members of the trailblazer group itself ready to make speedy enrolments on your standard once it is approved for delivery? For example, have you identified training providers to use?
These questions and areas of focus are purely to inform your thinking, and you shouldn’t limit yourself to this list. Please notify your relationship manager if there are other actions your trailblazer group takes to promote your apprenticeship standard, so we can spread the best practice.
4. Support organisations
Education and Training Foundation
The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) Future Apprenticeships Support Programme website http://futureapprenticeships.org.uk/ has resources to help training providers and EPAOs to deliver apprenticeship standards.
Jisc is a not-for-profit organisation and can advise training providers and end-point assessment organisations on digital services and solutions, which could be used in apprenticeship delivery.
Yo need to tell everyone about the new apprenticeship standard and drum up interest among employers, apprentices and industry professionals.
Using traditional media and social media makes a real difference. Journalists are always looking for good news stories, especially if they have a local or industry angle. Your social media channels give you a platform to engage with people about the apprenticeship standard and the work you’ve done.
Creating a buzz around your apprenticeship standard is simple and easy to do. We've got some helpful hints and tips to get you started.
PR toolkit – ten top tips to promote your apprenticeship standard
- Plan of action – before you do anything make sure you have a plan: think about your messages, target audience and the channels you’re going to use. You can then tailor your messages to the audience and channel.
- Engage with local and trade press – identify the key publications in your industry and locally. Before you approach them, make sure you have prepared a press release. Don’t worry we have a template that you can adapt.
- Sell your apprenticeship standard – whether you’re drafting your own press release or using the template, tell the journalist/reader about the apprenticeship standard and how this will benefit apprentices, employers and the industry.
- Identify a spokesperson – to add human interest to the press release, include a quote from a member of the trailblazer group, someone that can speak on the wider group’s behalf, should you get any press opportunities. We’ve also included a quote from Sir Gerry Berragan, chief executive of the Institute for Apprenticeships.
- Bring the press release to life – tell your story with a picture. This may help sell in your story to the journalist so make sure you have a high resolution image (at least 1MB) to accompany your release.
- Sending out the release – before you email the release, contact the media outlet to identify the relevant correspondent. This will ensure your press release is seen by the right person and you can talk to them about your apprenticeship standard. You can find contact details on the media outlet’s website or in the newspaper itself.
- Share it online – announce the approval of the new apprenticeship standard using your social media accounts and encourage those across your trailblazer group to do the same. Link to the press release or any articles on the apprenticeship standard.
- Join the conversation – don't forget to use the hashtag: #newapprenticeship and ask your staff and prominent social media users to post about the apprenticeship standard and retweet your tweets.
- Have fun - post lively images to bring the apprenticeship standard to life. If you have gifs or banners, use them.
- Utilise all communications channels - get staff and partners involved – spread the word within your organisation by announcing the apprenticeship standard in your newsletter and intranet.
For more communications support or advice email firstname.lastname@example.org
Press release template
Connecting with schools – helpful hints and tips
- Get in touch - make a list of local schools and give them a call. Find out if they’d like a visit from your company.
- Produce a school presentation - create a generic presentation that can be given at schools. This could be delivered by you or a colleague. It doesn’t need to be a work of art! Include: interesting facts about your industry, information about the tasks and training involved in an apprenticeship, qualifications a young person would need to undertake the apprenticeship and career progression once completed.
- Make your sessions engaging - think about visual aids and ways to make things fun and engaging during a school visit, for example, taking in equipment they can handle, or work related clothing that they can try on, along with images or films.
- School ambassadors – ask your own apprentices to become school ambassadors. Check whether any of your apprentices would like to visit some schools to talk to the pupils. They could tell them about their own apprenticeship, talk about why they might like to consider apprenticeships, and explain how their own apprenticeship (and its accompanying salary) has improved their life.
- Site visit - you could also ask schools if they'd like to visit your organisation.
- Engage online - create a new space or portal for children and teachers on your website. You could feature information about the apprenticeship opportunities available within your company and case studies about your apprentices and what they get up to during their day.
- Added section on promoting new apprenticeship standards