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Case Study

How apprenticeship accreditation is transporting people to new roles

The journey to accreditation for TRL and how you could do the same.


Photo by @Maxon via Unsplash

Unleash Your Training Discover more about the Investors in People apprenticeship accreditation framework for measuring how well you’re doing at supporting your apprentices at work.

  • Apprenticeships are a great way to bring new skills to your business — but setting up a program can be a minefield.
  • Measuring and proving the quality of training provision is a key barrier to apprenticeship success.
  • The answer lies in offering a framework for program development, resulting in accreditation that allows learners to see your course in a new light.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of young people set out on apprenticeships. Many existing employees also take advantage of upskilling programs to add new strings to their bow.

For most, it’s an exciting opportunity to climb the career ladder. Others, however, are left disappointed either by the quality of the program or the lack of a job offer at the end of their studies.

Investors In People (IIP) exists to help businesses improve the management and performance of employees. They are the life-blood of the industry today and the leaders of tomorrow, so their development is crucial — not least while the pandemic threatens to snuff out so many opportunities.

To offer organizations a way to evaluate and acclaim apprenticeship programs IIP has created a new framework: We Invest In Apprentices.

Missed some of our other pieces with Investors in People? Check them out now!
Is your apprenticeship scheme really that great?

AN accreditation framework for success

Apprenticeship strategies are riddled with complexity, from understanding the Levy system to picking a training provider.

We Invest In Apprentices was launched as a comprehensive program design, assessment and accreditation framework to tackle these difficulties.

IIP worked with the Department for Education as well as the UK’s devolved governments, employers, apprentices and training providers to develop the tool.

Here’s how it works:

  • Employer and IIP discuss accreditation level requirements — silver, gold, and platinum
  • Assessment of apprentice training provision against the framework by IIP
  • Accreditation level assigned and areas for development earmarked
  • Collaboration between company and IIP over three years to improve delivery
  • Re-accreditation and identification of challenges after three years

For more information on the “We invest in apprentices framework”, click here.

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Global mobility innovation center TRL recently achieved Silver accreditation with We Invest In Apprentices. But — as described above — that is only the start of its journey.

TRL first offered apprenticeships in 2012 and currently has 14 people in the program. Those at the beginning of their career benefit from receiving real-world experience alongside accredited training. Case management Assistant Laura Broadbent said: “The scheme is very successful as it exposes learners to many new possibilities. I have a buddy to guide me through on-the-job training, giving me the confidence to work independently. The apprenticeship is a great way to apply classroom-learned skills to the working world.”

Aside from training young people, firms can use their Apprenticeship Levy to upskill existing employees who will achieve new qualifications and may reach more senior roles.

Sally Panayiotou, a senior manager responsible for around 70 members of staff in TRL’s data, behavior and safety teams, explained: “My management team balances their management responsibilities with their technical work. This investment into upskilling our staff as professional managers shows that we view each of these responsibilities as having equal importance. We want to support and develop good managers and recognize the value of this in their professional development. I really appreciated TRL’s investment for me as a manager with this comprehensive training.”

The future is in safe hands

A recent UNLEASH-hosted webcast quizzed IIP about the role of apprenticeships in planning the future of work.

IIP CEO Paul Devoy believed a twin strategy of training people leaving education and upskilling eager existing employees is a key way for business to fill its recruitment pipeline with top-class talent. 

Discussing the We Invest In Apprentices framework, he added: “It’s good for apprentices if an employer delivers a good program. But it’s also a marketing tool, sending a signal the business has a high-quality scheme.”

Several critical factors dovetail when apprenticeships win accreditation. Among them:

  • Collaboration between employer, apprentice and training provider
  • Involvement of the learner in day-to-day company life
  • Consistent evidence to show the trainee is supported to thrive

TRL is delighted to achieve silver accreditation, which it says will help the business understand the stage it has reached on its apprenticeship journey and devise next steps.

We Invest In Apprentices delivers the dual benefits of improving firms’ programs while also ensuring exciting opportunities for people taking the qualifications.

Naomi Barringer, Head of Human Resources at TRL, commented: “The feedback we have received on the IIP framework will inform our future training program. We are fully committed to offering and delivering successful outcomes for our apprentices and the organization.”

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