The apprentice panel aims to help apprentices, employers and training providers work better together to improve the quality of apprenticeships. Part of this includes acting on feedback and sharing best practice. 

Raising the standards is a guide to help apprentices, employers and training providers improve the quality of apprenticeships. The panel created this guide in response to the findings of the first national survey of apprentices in 2020. The guidance reflects best practice in key areas that impact on the quality of the apprenticeship experience.

The guidance has now been updated to reflect the findings of the 2022 apprentice survey. 

Key points from the 2022 survey included:

  • Most apprentices said they were learning knowledge, skills, and behaviours (KSBs) that were up to date (90%) and that would benefit them in their future careers (89%)
  • 79% of apprentices said that they received an induction to their apprenticeship from their employer
  • 53% agreed that their employer and training provider worked effectively together (down from 60% in 2020)
  • Most apprentices agreed that both their training provider (70%) and employer (78%) take steps to support their wellbeing, but this differed across levels of apprenticeships

The apprentice panel used these insights to make six recommendations and have spent the last two years putting these into action. The update to Raising the Standards guidance was a key element of this work. Specific changes include:

  • Highlighting updated figures from the 2022 survey
  • Increasing the guidance for training providers and employers around wellbeing and support for apprentices
  • Including links to apprentice networks nationally to allow apprentices to interact outside of their organisations, increasing support for prospective and current apprentices
  • Signposting guidance around the regulation and complaints procedure for end-point assessment, in collaboration with Ofqual
  • A new section of guidance on equity, diversity, and inclusion 

The panel have worked with key people and organisations across the apprenticeship sector to get their thoughts on what a high-quality apprenticeship experience looks like. 

Training providers, employers and apprentices should use this guide to help establish clear expectations at every stage of an apprenticeship and to explore ways in which apprenticeships can be tailored to give apprentices the best experience possible. 

It is great to be able to update the guidance with the results of the 2022 apprentice panel survey. While the results where positive, it did expose gaps that we hope this guidance can go some way towards filling.
This work will always be evolving, and we hope we can work with more people to keep it relevant and impactful for all.

James Kennett, Co-Vice Chair Apprentice Panel, (former) Level 6 Aerospace Engineering Apprentice
I am so excited to announce the launch of ‘raising the standards: the apprentice guide to quality apprenticeships. Myself and the apprentice panel have worked on this incredible project for almost a year now and I am so pleased to see the launch of it after all the hard work and efforts of the panel and everyone who has been involved.

This project really helps set the standard for what makes a high-quality apprenticeship. And it shows why it is so important for employers and training providers to work in partnership with their apprentices to ensure they get the most out of their apprenticeship experience.

What makes this project so special is that it draws on real apprentices’ views and experiences to set out what makes a fantastic apprenticeship. It’s about more than just meeting minimum requirements! It’s about ensuring quality in every detail.

It has been an absolute pleasure to work with the amazing apprentices, colleagues and partners involved in creating this guidance.

Amelia Russell, (former) level 3 business admin apprentice, apprentice panel member
I have found being involved in this project very educational and insightful. I provided my views on the end-point assessment (EPA) as I felt best placed to comment on this, having already completed one EPA and heading into my second one in a few years’ time. As my apprenticeship is quite long, I look forward to seeing the apprentice guide in full swing and making a real difference in the near future!

Samantha Ross, level 7 solicitor apprentice, apprentice panel member