Apprentices Continue to Learn Through COVID-19
Many Apprentices are facing changes in the workplace as their employers respond to the coronavirus pandemic. However, for the recovery and the future, it is essential that learning and development are still maintained, despite the challenging circumstances.
Our Training Solutions division are proud to say that every effort has been made to keep our Apprentices in learning throughout the lockdown, where other companies have had to postpone Apprenticeships or even cancel them altogether. The recognised aviation industry skill shortage would have received yet another setback.
As part of this effort, when our Apprentices were at home during the lockdown period, our Apprentice Centre Team prepared a remote learning plan that was shared with both Apprentices and employers. In addition to remotely delivered instructor-led classes, the Apprentices were given a number of self-study assignments, weekly projects linked to the Apprenticeship Standard and daily phone-in’s from our Apprentice Centre Team. This plan was updated every 3 weeks to coincide with the Governments Covid19 review policy.
Our Foundation Phase Apprentices plan included the continuing assimilation of Part 66 Knowledge, qualification knowledge questions and self-study periods. Our Development Phase Apprentices completed portfolio work and knowledge questions relating to the development phase of the training. The second 3 week plan involved aviation projects linked to the Apprenticeship standards with our Apprentices being briefed via Teams and given a submission deadline with the best projects being rewarded with Amazon vouchers!
In such an uncertain time, the health and mental wellbeing of our Apprentices were of paramount importance to us. Our Learning Support Officer was in regular individual talks with every Apprentice to check on their welfare and wellbeing.
Whilst some of our Apprenticeship employers had been furloughed, we arranged for the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) to complete the End Point Assessment (EPA) for them. An incredible 62 apprentices out of a cohort of 68, successfully completed their EPA during lockdown! Use this as the “grab” sub header.
Now our Apprentices are back learning in our training centres in Kemble and Humberside, with the graduated and controlled return to training being very smooth. The Apprentices were thoroughly briefed prior to entering the centre and their first day was spent ensuring they fully understood the new processes and procedures in place. This also included a centre tour to explain and demonstrate the safe systems of work implemented throughout the centre and a full period dedicated to their mental health and how they have dealt with and coped during lockdown. All academic and vocational learning areas have been risk assessed, maximum occupation agreed and a syllabus designed to ensure student numbers cater for the new safety measures. Apprentice groups have been formed using accommodation bubbles, to add an extra layer of safety to minimise the risk of infection spread into the centre.
As a result of the hard work of our Apprentice Centre Team and Technical Instructor’s, we are pleased to be able to say that the examination results from periods delivered via remote platforms support the success of the intervention and have maintained the centres high exam success rate.
Our next Level 3 cohort will start in November 2020. Interest is already building in this cohort due to the new Government initiative whereby companies can now claim an additional £2,000 kickstart per apprentice. This, added to the existing £1,000 initiative companies can already claim, makes taking on an apprentice an even more appealing option.
We also successfully started our Level 4 Apprenticeship delivery in August 2020. This is the first time this Standard – to become Certified Aircraft Maintenance Engineer – CAT B – has been run through LRTT and due to COVID-19, unexpected measures had to be taken to ensure the programme could still run and our clients training requirements were fulfilled. As part of this, we begun the first part as a remote delivery with Apprentices being taught via Zoom. This ensured social distancing measures were always adhered to and our learners and staff, safe at all times. We have already seen a lot of success with our remote delivery methodology, and we are now exploring how we can further adopt new technologies to support our students and clients on their journey with us.