Apprenticeships get radical overhaul

March 17, 2017 / Isla MacFarlane
Apprenticeships get radical overhaul

CITB Apprenticeships is radically changing the way it teaches maths and English across the Great Britain to reduce the number of apprentices who either drop out or fail their courses.

Apprentices who have not attained the minimum standards in maths and English whilst in school must undertake additional qualifications in these subjects as part of their apprenticeship.

For those apprentices requiring additional learning, successful completion of these qualifications is a mandatory requirement to pass their apprenticeship. In England, one in five apprentices fail to pass the qualification in either maths or English.

The aim of the £350,000 scheme is to boost attainment in these subjects, by making the teaching more relevant and accessible, and empowering the learner.

The new approach will initially apply to the 15,000 apprentices trained by CITB Apprenticeships, with roll-out across other training providers later in the year as part of its commitment to raise standards across the entire sector.

CITB Apprenticeships is changing the way it teaches these subjects in three ways:

  • Using a new online diagnostic tool to assess learners’ level of knowledge. Based on that assessment, resources will be provided so that each apprentice has an individual learning plan tailored to their specific needs. This is being piloted now.
  • Creating a series of videos which help bring maths to life, by showing how it is used in a real-life, construction context. The videos are being created now for roll-out in the summer.
  • Creating informal, pod-based learning environments, alongside partners in FE, where apprentices can work together and problem-solve in small teams.

One of the reasons some apprentices drop out is because they feel like they are returning to the classroom, where they may have had a negative experience. By changing the environment in which they study, they should feel more empowered and therefore perform better. This is due to begin in September.

Steve Hearty, Head of CITB Apprenticeships, said, “Most apprentices currently do very well on their courses and go on to have successful, rewarding careers in construction. But too many are dropping out or failing their course because of a weakness in English and maths, which is a terrible waste of talent.

“There are many reasons for this, which is why we are introducing big changes to not just how students learn, but the environment in which they study.

“We hope this will boost the number of apprentices passing their courses, so these young people can make the most of their skills. It will also offer value for construction employers, who need for workers with the right training and qualifications alongside sound knowledge of English and maths.”

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