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Opinions about Providers?

fairdealworld

fairdealworld

New Member
Verified Member
#1
When I got interested in employing an apprentice I felt I was groping round in the dark trying to get the information I needed about the scheme and the sort of curriculum the apprentice would be following and about 'Providers'. I'm not sure I've got out of the dark even yet!

In the end, for all sorts of reasons, we went for a private 'provider' rather than a local college so my apprentice's tutor/assessor visits her in the workplace.

Do apprentices and employers here have comments/experiences to share about the college v. private provider route?

My apprentice gets on well with her tutor/assessor which is good as it is all one to one tuition. I've come up against the problem (should have thought of it but I didn't) of simply finding somewhere for them to work together. Borrowed a room off the business next door for the first visit but it isn't heated which meant they had to have their second meeting in the shop itself. It seemed to work out okay but it was a bit public!
 

Ryan

Active Member
#2
Steadfast are my training provider - they come to me and are excellent. I have a really friendly tutor who visits and is really motivating. It also means that someone like me, who really enjoys their job, can go to work all 5 days a week. If you have an apprentice with a bad attitude towards work, then they may see college as a doss about day.

I think a tutor coming in is brilliant though :)

Good luck!!
 
fairdealworld

fairdealworld

New Member
Verified Member
#3
That's quite reassuring Ryan. I've been wondering if we should have worked with a college, so it is useful to hear that you've found the tutor visiting work approach okay.
 

Ryan

Active Member
#4
Luckily where I work, we have 2 factories next to each other, with a lot of offices, so we're lucky in terms of space. There's also 2 other apprentices (both working in the factory).

I've learnt so much already, it's honestly great! How long has your apprentice been employed?
 
fairdealworld

fairdealworld

New Member
Verified Member
#5
My apprentice started on October 1st. I'm certainly appreciating her involvement in the business. She keeps saying she's enjoying it so just hope that is true and she's not just being polite.

I envy the space you have available. It is a problem that most small shops are actually well small! Customers always think you've lots of space 'out the back' but actually we haven't. There is a tiny 'kitchen/storeroom' behind the main shop area which is smaller than the bathroom in some houses but it holds the all important sink, microwave, kettle and toaster. Then there is a small L-shaped back yard and if you walk round to the short arm of the 'L' there is an outside toilet (this is very common in small shops in older buildings but we do have a heat and light bulb in it : - ) ) and next door to that is what obviously used to be the coal shed (there was still a bit of coal stuck to the floor when we moved in 8 years ago) which we now use as storage space for boxes and other packaging.

When I was thinking about having an apprentice I really didn't think through the issue of just exactly where my apprentice could meet privately with their tutor especially once the colder weather set in. I can see that until Spring it will have to be in the main body of the shop with me buzzing around whenever a customer comes in. The tutor seemed quite happy with this but it can't exactly be ideal.
 

Ryan

Active Member
#6
Well, my assessor goes to a shop which sounds similar to yours (although by the sounds of it, this one is much smaller). Apparently it's like a small sweet shop, and you can go into the back but it's literally outside, so it's not really possible. The assessor loves it though, because if she's going through paperwork with the apprentice, the apprentice can still be ticking off units as customers are still coming in and she's completing some of her units.

The problem about all this space is that it's hard for me to tick off units that involve communicating with clients (I've already completed the telephone and email ones).

I'm sure the apprentice does really like it though, I think you'd know by now if they didn't - I think it's easy to tell with most young people ;)

Glad she's getting on well though, really good sign! Do you think there may be a permanent place for her come the end of he apprenticeship? Also, is it a year long one?
 
fairdealworld

fairdealworld

New Member
Verified Member
#7
Yes it is a one year apprenticeship. I certainly took on an apprentice in the expectation of offering a permanent place at the end of the apprenticeship. But it is all very dependent on the general economic situation. Like most small shops that haven't yet had to close we're just trying to hang on long enough to survive the storm and be among the survivors.

I think it is also quite probable that my apprentice will want to go on to do the Advanced Level Apprenticeship and there probably wouldn't be enough scope in one small shops for the units required for that. For example if she wanted to specialise in window dressing etc she'd need more than one window to practice on. Unless I could persuade nearby businesses to have their windows regularly dressed for free :) some of them could do with it!
 

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