Successful off-the-job training starts with your organisation valuing and respecting an apprentices’ learning time.

In the demanding healthcare sector, which is rammed with other priorities and pressures, it can be easy for managers and supervisors to indicate to their apprentice that their off-the-job training time is getting in the way of ‘doing the job’.

Going down this avenue, however, devalues the purpose of apprenticeships and just puts off that training time until another day. Fitting it in is a requirement and so it must be completed and recorded. So ultimately, organisations that operate in this way don’t save any time. In fact, by cramming off-the-job training in at some stage with no real purpose or plan, they actually waste time as neither the apprentice nor the organisation gains any real benefits from it.

Implemented properly, off-the-job training develops a more rounded individual with the broad range of skills and behaviours necessary to succeed in an ever-changing world, and a good overall knowledge of the health and care sector.

So, how do you ensure your apprentices receive good quality off-the-job training?

  1. Sign the commitment statement and display a positive approach to their training. This will engender enthusiasm and show that you value their development.
  2. Understand why and how it benefits the individual, organisation and management team. Yes, it may sometimes feel like a distraction that’s holding you and your team back. But training is an investment in the future and a key part of the solution to constantly fighting fire in your care home.
  3. Prepare a comprehensive training package while encouraging additional, bespoke training where apprentices convey interest in a particular skill. If you take time to fully prepare what will be included as part of off-the-job training, you have the power to make sure it’s relevant. And why wouldn’t you embrace the eagerness of someone who wants to learn a new skill?
  4. Mix it up. There is value in all types of learning and each individual has their own learning style. Using a combination of training techniques will allow everyone to benefit and prevent the training becoming stale. Nobody wants 6 hours every week in a classroom just being talked at! Off-the-job training must be relevant to the overall competencies required for the role and can include shadowing a more experienced colleague, personal reflection, being introduced to new equipment or systems or learning additional tasks.
  5. Consider block training. The requirement for off-the-job training is an average of 6 hours per week. But it can be delivered flexibly. So, why not look at the possibility of blocking out weeks throughout the year specifically for training? Whether you choose to go residential or in-house, blocking out chunks in this way can aid you in planning your staffing and rotas for those weeks so everybody benefits.

These are just some examples of how you can ensure that your apprentices are getting the maximum benefit from their time spent with you, so they are ready for the workplace when the time comes.

At Richmond Training, we specialise in supporting organisations in the healthcare sector to create and implement holistic, practical and ongoing training packages. To talk to us about a bespoke training package based on your needs and objectives, get in touch today.

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