Off the Job Training

Adding value to your business: Apprenticeships Off the Job Training

National Apprenticeship Week took place in the UK last month, as businesses everywhere got involved in apprenticeship events and employers were reminded just how important apprentices can be to a number of sectors.

Many companies do understand the value of an apprentice. They know that in the long run, investing in the development of a professional can lead to an employee with a higher degree of organisational knowledge, loyalty and ambition. However, one thing which might be holding back many businesses from committing to apprenticeships could be off the job training (OTJ).

OTJ accounts for 20 per cent of the apprentice’s time. While it might not seem a large portion for some employers, others might disapprove of an apprentice spending this time away from their day job, when they could be undertaking duties which are seen as benefitting the company directly. As usual in business – it all comes down to the bottom line.

But did you know that a lot of the time, apprentices can still contribute; both to the business and the bottom line? What it takes is a tailored apprenticeship programme from a specialised training provider, which is capable of demonstrating added value to the business.

How does it work?

The 20 per cent of OTJ training required for apprenticeships in the UK is important, because it ‘reinforces practical, work-based learning with technical and theoretical learning’. It also focuses on new skills rather than assessing existing skills to demonstrate progress from their starting points. OTJ which can count towards the 20 per cent is varied – in many cases, your employee might already be doing OTJ training without realising it. It can include everything from educational inductions to mentoring, coaching, shadowing, observations, attending competitions and project work.

For example, most apprenticeships contain a ‘Project Unit’, that is used to contribute and implement improvement of business performance. This can be anything from analysing and improving data to managing physical resources – perfect for adding value to your business!
How SR Education can make OTJ training business friendly

At SR Education, we specialise in turning as much of this 20 per cent of your apprenticeship programme into worthwhile business activities whilst still ensuring quality and time to study.  This can help you to maximise the return on investment which you see from your apprentices, both in the short and long term.

We make OTJ training simple by working in partnership with employers to tailor the apprenticeship programme to them and their processes from the outset. Breaking OTJ into modules allows us to map the schedule and learning outcomes against the apprentice’s day job and existing employer processes – this ensures that everything is relevant, and everything is adding value.

Our OTJ modules combine the processes of ‘Know It, Live It, Show It’. That means the learning element (Know It) – which can be distance learning as part of a blended approach – is augmented by a focus on practical activities (Live It); another opportunity to add business value. Then Show It gives apprentices the opportunity to use and put into practice what they have learnt and done.

Are you ready for OTJ?

If you aren’t sure whether your organisation’s current structure will allow for OTJ to be implemented, don’t worry. SR Education works to identify where you already have existing processes in place and where new ones should be put in to allow the OTJ. You might find that many of your apprentices surpass the 20 per cent minimum of OTJ due to the efficient OTJ map which we put in place – and you won’t mind, because each OTJ activity is adding value to your business.

What do employers say?

“SR Education have made it a lot easier for the company to accept apprentices and not have a huge impact on day to day business delivery.” Sarah Green, Holland & Barrett

“By working in partnership with SR Education and closely mapping apprenticeships training to our business and processes, we now see Off the Job Training as a really positive element. We can see with real added value and identify business improvements as a result.” Urvashi Patel, Shoe Zone

It’s time to think about the value of apprenticeships

The government’s apprenticeships levy can equate to 0.5 per cent of your payroll if over £3m. By not utilising apprenticeship training your organisation is losing their levy funds, and not taking their rightful share of the £1.28 billion currently unused in apprenticeship levy accounts. You could also be missing out on an opportunity to develop existing staff, take on new staff, build a more diverse workforce and improve bus performance.

Don’t let OTJ put you off apprenticeships. Embrace the ability to ensure a quality apprenticeship which shows genuine progression while still adding value to your business. Make your apprenticeships business savvy with SR Education. Call us today on 01949 20976 or email the Engagement Team

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