Mar 15

It's NAW 2016 - a great time to become an Assessor

- posted by Simon Linard on

National Apprenticeship Week 2016 is here and its a hot topic within the education and training sector.

When most people think about Apprenticeships, it is either doing one or providing one. The majority of events supporting National Apprenticeship Week are focused around encouraging take-up amongst both potential apprentices and employers (with the levy and trailblazers being themes this year). There is one group of people commonly forgotten during this celebration of all things Apprenticeship. They are an integral part of any Apprenticeship programme (quite often the unsung heroes); it's the Apprenticeship Assessors.

Assessors are vital in ensuring Apprenticeships are successful as year on year the number of young people taking an Apprenticeship increases. They play a crucial role in maintaining the standard of Apprenticeships, learning, teaching and up-skilling, as well as ensuring every programme delivers training that is relevant and valuable to both the learner and their employer.

There is currently a problem, a shortage of Assessors, a national shortage at a time when the number of people taking an Apprenticeship is increasing. At present there are literally hundreds of assessor jobs available across the country, so the shortage of Assessors is apparent.

A key issue is that Colleges/Training Providers want ready made Assessors, who can work with learners immediately (all the media attention during NAW is raising awareness and numbers rapidly). There tends to be a focus on employing already qualified and experienced assessors only, ensuring learners can be distributed immediately. Whilst it is easy to understand the rationale behind this approach I question whether highly competent would-be assessors are deterred from taking up a new careers due to potential barriers in place at entry level.

The problem is not just one of encouraging new talent into the industry, but one of retaining the excellent Assessors already in the field. We need to ensure every step is taken to provide them with ongoing training and support. Offering career progression opportunities and a clear 'path' for those who desire it is also vitally important.

In light of this, our focus for each year during National Apprenticeship Week is to champion the role of the Assessor and encourage 'would-be Assessors' to join the industry. After all, without excellent Assessors, we wouldn't have excellent Apprentices.

Here at SL Training and Development we specialise in the delivery of assessor qualifications and want to aid the next generation of assessors to enter the sector. If you are an Employer, Training Provider, College wanting to develop your team of Assessors or an individual looking to become an Assessor, we can help you so please get in touch.