Employers for the Digital IT Apprenticeships
The Digital IT Apprenticeship Standards have been created by groups of employers, through the governments ‘Trailblazer’ process. These standards are being rolled out to replace the current apprenticeship frameworks.
These apprenticeship standards have been designed to respond to employers’ needs, to ensure that they are of a high quality, rigorous and develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for a specific job role.
Apprentices under the new standards are required to undergo an independent end point assessment, once the EPA is completed, apprentices will be now graded, Pass, Merit or Distinction.
An apprenticeship will last for a minimum of 12 months, you will see this period referenced to as ‘on-programme’ and there are several steps an apprentice, the training provider and the employer will have to undertake during this time.
Employer selects right apprenticeship for their business
Apprentice recruited – new or existing employee
Employer selects preferred training provider listed on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP)
The employer and the training provider agree a training plan to cover the technical knowledge, the skills and behaviours, covered by the chosen apprenticeship standard
The training programme should be supported by skills/business coaches and assessors
The apprentice will now complete their on-programme learning, which will include on the job and off the job training and completion of the required knowledge modules /vendor certifications
The training provider, employer and the apprentice agree that the apprentice is ready for end point assessment and has met all the criteria set out in the standard
Confirmation through completion of the EPA Gateway process
The EPA components include an assessment of all the requirements held within a standard, including; competencies, knowledge and behaviours. It takes place in the final few months of the apprenticeship using the four assessment methods listed below.
• Summative portfolio
• Synoptic project
• Employer reference
Includes examples and evidence of the apprentice’s best work, demonstrating their knowledge, competence and behaviours within a real working environment against the standard.
Timescales – duration of apprentice programme up to EPA readiness
The employer is required to write a reference for the apprentice, on how they have performed in the workplace and have applied their knowledge, competencies and behaviours in the work projects given.
What makes a good employer reference?
There are always differences between individual employers and their requirements, so there is the opportunity for the employer to include any other activity that they think demonstrates the apprentice’s competence. It should be completed by a senior member of the team, who is able to comment directly on work activities.
The apprentice is required to undertake a business-related project over 3-5 days away from their normal place of work and in a controlled environment.
A bank of work related project scenarios will be provided by the assessment organisation for the employer, training provider and the apprentice to select their preferred project.
Timescales – 3- 5 days, apprentices will complete off-the-job, this can be conducted on their employer’s or training provider’s premises.