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Apprenticeships Still On At South Devon College

Apprenticeships Still On At South Devon College

Emily Tucker, Head of Apprenticeships and Employer Engagement at South Devon College, has been busy since the start of lockdown. The College moved to online learning on 23rd March and since then, Emily and the team at South Devon College has been supporting their cohort of around 1,700 apprentices and their network of over 500 local businesses. Emily launched a new initiative – the South Devon Business Community. This series of interactive webinars sets out to support the business community as it weathers the storm of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

These webinars answer some of the most frequently asked questions relating to apprenticeships from the local business community and Emily has put together some examples of key information you need to know about apprenticeships throughout lockdown.  

Can employers still take on apprentices during lockdown? 

Yes, absolutely. If you are looking to either up-skill existing staff, or to recruit an apprentice to support a change to your business model brought about by our current circumstances, now is the time. South Devon College has adapted its systems and processes to enable us to continue with apprenticeship sign-ups remotely. The Employer Engagement team will support you through the whole journey from recruitment through to your new apprentice or pre-existing employee successfully completing their apprenticeship. 

How is South Devon College supporting current apprenticeships? 

South Devon College’s fantastic curriculum teams have worked tirelessly to provide innovative online learning for all our apprentices. Each of our apprentices has a dedicated Curriculum Lead and Workplace Coordinator who will be providing them with online lessons and progress reviews using Microsoft Teams. The College is working to ensure the wellbeing of all students during these challenging times, with our Helpzone and Positive Intervention teams ready to provide support wherever necessary.  

woman computer apprenticeships

How will furlough affect apprenticeships? 

A large number of our apprentices have been furloughed over the last few weeks, however we are hopeful that this will not have a serious impact on their qualification. Whilst they can’t go to work, apprentices are still able to access online learning which will contribute toward their 20% off the job training requirement – some of our apprentices have welcomed the opportunity to catch up with this element of their qualification. Our priority is to keep in close contact with our students and employers and to offer advice and support as this situation continues to develop.    

How is South Devon College continuing to support local businesses? 

We understand that businesses are going through an exceptionally tough time and want to provide them with a forum for open and honest discussion of our shared challenges. The South Devon Business Community ran its first webinar in early April, focusing on apprenticeships. We will soon be announcing the date and expert panel members of our next webinar ‘Working Digitally’, which will explore effective remote working solutions.  

In addition, we are working in collaboration with Torbay Business Forum to provide weekly webinars to reach out and support the business community. 

South Devon College is also offering a fantastic range of online short courses – these fully subsidised courses are available to everyone via our website and cover a range of health and wellbeing related courses, as well as e-safety and Digital Skills. These courses provide an excellent opportunity for personal and professional development during lockdown.  

To find out more about taking on an apprentice or any other training requirement or to register for Devon Business Community Webinars, email the Employer Engagement team: employers@southdevon.ac.uk  To register for Torbay Business Forum’s webinars, run by South Devon College, visit www.torbaybusinessforum.org.uk .

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