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Flexible Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships – there is another way…

You don’t have to attend classroom courses to complete an Apprenticeship – there is another way!

Although attending a taught workshop programme is a great way of studying for AAT, it doesn’t suit every student or every employer – e.g. time out of the office, a set start time, a set end date, a set pace to meet the needs of the fastest and slowest student in the class, and price.
We have come up with a range of alternative study options and prices to suit both employer and student, some which are FREE where the course is undertaken as part of an Apprenticeship.This includes a Flexible Apprenticeship programme that combines a blend of learning provision, notably excluding the need to attend set classroom sessions.
Flexible Apprenticeships with Blended Learning
This programme includes:

  • An Initial site visit to agree the learning plan with both learner and employer
    (NB this must be a minimum of 12 months, in order to comply with government regulations)
  • Regular site visits for progress reviews
  • 1 : 1 tutorials at these visits:
    for those aged 16-18 – every month; for those aged 19-23 – every two months
  • For those aged 16-18, at Level 2, a Sage Certificate course can be added to the programme, free of charge (normally costing £450)
  • Comprehensive learning materials, on-line and hard copy
  • The individualised learning plan can start at any time and because there are no set taught sessions, there is the ability to flex this during the course (NB the programme must be for a minimum of 12 months, in order to comply with government regulations)
  • Tutor Helpline, plus marked progress tests and feedback, plus regular tutor contact (i.e. proactively nagging students to submit their work and check all is ok)
  • Drop-in facility at our Exeter site for 1:1 tutor support

Students must be aged 16-23 and be eligible for Apprenticeship funding. This route also requires completion of the Apprenticeship framework – i.e. AAT, completion of ERR workbook, Functional Skills (if not exempt by virtue of prior exams (GCSEs etc))
For those aged 16-18, the training is free – i.e. fully funded by the Government.
For those 19-23, there is an employer contribution but this is fully refundable for those completing on time.
For those 24+, with effect from 1 August 2013, funding can only be accessed by way of a student loan for Level 3 or 4. Grant funding may be available for those starting at Level 2.
We also offer a non qualification bookkeeping self study training programme, which a number of clients use as an alternative to the 12 month Level 2 programme, allowing those with some prior knowledge to start directly at level 3.
“Generally, how available are apprenticeships via distance learning?”
“Distance learning” per se is not eligible for Apprenticeship funding. However, traditional classroom attendance is not essential either. Most Apprenticeships, e.g. Business Administration or Customer Service are assessed in the workplace. The distinctive feature of the above programme is the use of the routine review visits to provide one to one tutorialsand the regular tutor contact by email and phone in between visits, supported by a series of marked progress tests and feedback.
“What successes have you seen through Accountancy Learning?”
Kyle has recently completed his Level 2 and has now progressed to Level 3. Bethany only started her level 2 last October and has nearly completed her formal programme;during this time, she also completed her IFA accredited Sage Award and Certificate in Computerised Accounting as an additional (free)extra. The remainder of her 12 month Apprenticeship will be spent re-enforcing her learning in the workplace and preparing for progression to level 3. Olivia had a baby whilst studying for level 2, which she completed on return to work last summer and she is now progressing through level 3.
“What challenges does this structure of apprenticeships produce (if any)?”
Maintaining regular study sessions during the week and ensuring prompt submission of progress tests, so that the programme set out in the learning plan is kept to. However, Accountancy Learning have a Learner Contact system that ensures the personal tutor contacts their learners weekly, fortnightly or monthly to make sure everything is ok…..i.e. they nag them!?!
“What are the benefits for employers?”
No time out of the office, but ideally, time is set aside each week in a quiet room at work, to allow personal study. This is an ideal time for Apprentices to pick up the phone or email a study question. Learners can start at any time, i.e. when they are recruited, without having to wait for the start of classroom sessions, typically in September. It may well be that as the learner progresses to level 3 or 4 that they decide to move to a workshop programme with another provider. It is important to match the course to the abilities of the learner and their requirements and those of the employer.
“What are the benefits for individuals?”
Because Flexible Apprentices are not part of a large class, learners can set their pace to suit their own abilities and personal circumstances. Olivia did not want to be held to a set time each week for attending classes. She was bound to have missed some and would have fallen behind and struggled to catch up with a class that was one or two sessions ahead of her. She makes full use of the on-site 1:1 sessions to cover aspects of her studies she is not sure about.