Apprenticeships are changing and plans for new training models could bring big benefits to the care sector. In this article, we demystify the latest apprenticeship terminology and look at what these new options mean in practice.

As the pressure of staff shortages across the care sector continues to mount, recruiting and retaining talent is a top priority.

The good news is that apprenticeships are continually adapting to meet these demands. In fact, a new flexible system being explored by the Government could unlock meaningful opportunities for both employers and apprentices in 2022.

Read on to find out more.

Introducing ‘front-loading’ or ‘flexing’ training

Apprenticeships continue to play an invaluable role in helping to unlock stills quickly and to allow motivated staff to fast-track into positions where they can provide real value. However, new flexible working patterns currently under consideration by the Government could make this process even faster.

Among the options being explored is ‘front-loading’, where an apprentice receives intensive off-the-job training before they begin their formal responsibilities. Essentially, this would teach important skills and technical knowledge from the outset, while key behaviours and practical skills will continue to be embedded throughout the full apprenticeship programme.

For organisations struggling with crippling staff shortages, front-loaded training could prove invaluable in helping apprentices to hit the ground running and make a real contribution to their workplaces from the very start. For example, we’re currently facing a national shortage of adult care workers, but the time required to train someone through current methods isn’t quick enough to meet this demand.

It’s also worth mentioning that flexible apprenticeships do not always have to be front-loaded. There are also options to flex the training model to deliver focused training at other stages of the apprenticeship – giving employers even greater flexibility to reflect the needs of their staff and organisation.

Getting to know Accelerated apprenticeships

Another option which is already being utilised is ‘accelerated apprenticeships’, which allow an employer to adjust the length of an apprenticeship for an individual who has existing relevant knowledge or skills. For instance, time and financial constraints may prevent someone from completing a social work degree, but their initial grounding in the subject would make a longer apprenticeship programme unnecessary.

While the law requires that an apprentice maintains their minimum programme time of 12 months, an accelerated approach could avoid training for longer than needed and therefore prove a cost-effective option for employers.

Understanding flexi-job apprenticeships

Another training model to consider is flexi-job apprenticeships’, which are designed to ensure that organisations that typically rely on short-term contracts or other non-standard employment models can access the benefits of apprenticeships too.

With flexible apprenticeships, organisations can look at what skills they need for their workforce now – and what they’re likely to need in the future – and choose a tailored approach.

For years, apprenticeships have made it easier for employers to unlock skills quickly and fast-track new recruits into positions where they can provide real value – while offering career longevity to the talented individuals they already rely on. Flexible apprenticeships will formalise this process and are set to bring big rewards to both care organisations and their employees.

Feeling inspired? Get in touch with our friendly team today to find out more about how tailored training can work for your organisation.