E-learning apprenticeships good for business

It gives the apprentices the flexibility to study when and where they choose, ensuring valuable working hours are not lost, whilst still maintaining the high standards of classroom teaching but accessed online at work or at home.

The 18-month Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Project Management has been designed so that the majority of teaching can be carried out through a combination of online presentations, podcasts, and YouTube videos, which have all been specially developed by the College, but “blended” with face-to-face learning opportunities such as seminars with key speakers from industry. Apprentices are also supported with regular face-to-face meetings with their tutor to assess their progress and have the additional support of fellow apprentices, through a new online forum. The forum provides an opportunity to chat with other apprentices, ask questions and discuss and debate topics that are posted to the forum by tutors, creating a virtual classroom.

Having the chance to do most of the learning online has proved incredibly popular with employers and employees with over 30 apprentices enrolled from organisations including the Portakabin Group, Newham Council, Lewisham Council, Redbridge Council, ShoNet Systems, and construction company DSJV. An additional 25 new apprentices are due to start training later this year.

Janet Bywater, Head of Business Innovation & Enterprise, Barking & Dagenham College said: “Employer clients were telling us that they needed to up-skill their teams but in the most flexible way possible. Our team listened and responded by creating bespoke interactive e-learning study materials. Apprentices can fit their studies around their personal and work commitments.”

Ray Ellul, head of talent at Newham Council, who has successfully enrolled 20 staff into the apprenticeship programme commented: “The new more flexible approach to the higher apprenticeship model is good for businesses. It combines the best of both worlds. Employment based learning, where apprentices build experience and expertise in the workplace, whilst still gaining the knowledge needed from the college, but without apprentices having to leave the office. We’ve run successful apprenticeships since 1991 and this is a good addition to what we offer.”