What is an apprentice?
An apprentice is someone:
- who is employed
- who is learning on-the-job
- earning a wage from day one
- working towards an industry recognised qualification.
Find support and information for employers of Modern Apprentices
An apprentice is someone:
'When I left school I got a Modern Apprenticeship with Glasgow City Council working with older adults and I achieved my Modern Apprenticeship in SVQ Social Services and Healthcare at SCQF level 6.
'During my apprenticeship I realised that I did not want to pursue a career in working with older adults. Fortunately the team which manages the modern apprenticeships got a placement for me working with adults who have a learning disability and that has worked out really well. I started as an apprentice but within a few weeks of moving there I was offered a permanent post and I am now doing my SVQ Social Services and Healthcare SCQF level 7.
'I love my job and doing my apprenticeship and having so much support has given me opportunities I might never have had. I have gained a lot of skills and learned so much. This has come from training courses I have been able to attend as well as getting advice and support from my colleagues. I have grown in confidence and I am very much part of the team. I feel the work that I do is so rewarding as I am helping others have a better quality of life. Each day is different and I have a work programme to follow which allows me to do different activities with different service users each day so I never get bored.'
The Modern Apprenticeship Framework Document for Scotland outlines the roles of:
The research 'What makes a good modern apprenticeship in social services in Scotland?' published in November 2018 identified key elements which need to be in place to make sure apprentices in social services have a good learning experience.
Research into What makes a good modern apprenticeship in social services in Scotland? (SSSC, November 2018) highlighted:
‘...in addition to on-the-job learning, good MA programmes provide access to more structured learning opportunities. Although the learning that occurs naturally during the course of work helps to guide the individual's practice, it is important to consider where the apprentices get the knowledge required to underpin effective practice.’ (p33)
Information and resources for mentoring or supporting an apprentice.
The research report What makes a good modern apprenticeship in social services in Scotland? (SSSC, November 2018) says:
‘Both the training providers and the apprentices stressed the pivotal role of the workplace mentor in creating an effective learning environment in the workplace.’ (p4)
Employers don’t have to identify a mentor for an apprentice, however it’s helpful if an apprentice knows which colleagues are available to support or mentor them. How employers support modern apprentices will differ. There is no set way of doing this.
However, it is important that apprentices are able to have a voice.
As a mentor you don’t need to have all the answers. Your main aim is to bring out the best in the apprentice. You are helping them to develop their knowledge and skills including employability skills.
No you don't need a mentoring qualification.
You will have a range of transferable skills and knowledge you can use in your mentoring role.
These include your:
The basis of a positive mentoring relationship is trust and respect between the mentor and the apprentice. This involves providing support in a non-judgemental way. It is important to treat apprentices as individuals and consider how you can adapt to meet their particular needs.
You need to do all of this within professional boundaries and it's important that the limits of confidentiality are established. These limits will be informed by your organisation's policies, the SSSC Codes of Practice for Social Service Workers and Employers and legislation.
I have mentored a modern apprentice and it was a great experience.
The things I found helped to give the apprentice a good learning experience were:
Being a mentor helped me to reflect on my own practice and to reconsider why I do things in a particular way.
Everyone learns in different ways. It's helpful to take the time to ask the modern apprentice what helps them to learn.
The Conscious Competence Ladder can help both the mentor and modern apprentice make sense of the stages of learning the modern apprentice might experience.
Using these steps can help the modern apprentice take ownership of their learning and help facilitate the development of critical thinking.
Goal setting can help the modern apprentice to take responsibility for their own learning.
Being a mentor can help you:
It helps if the mentor can appropriately share their professional experience and knowledge to help the apprentice develop their practice.
A mentor can equally learn from the apprentice. It's important to recognise the skills and knowledge which an apprentice brings to the organisation.
The apprentice brings a fresh pair of eyes and can give a different perspective.
Both the mentor and modern apprentice have the opportunity to learn from each other.