Coming soon… training officer development programme

When is a training officer not a Training Officer – at least in the original sense of the word?

The role of Training Officer was pivotal within the relationship between a GTA and its employers. The person in this role was the lynchpin of the apprenticeship training process. She or he began by finding out what support the employer needed, and discussing how the various aspects of the need might be met. Business needs might span more than training, and include other advice and support. But the Training Officer was seen by the employer as their first port of call, signposting if necessary to other sources of help, and supplying many
training solutions first-hand. The GTA itself was seen by the employer as the ‘training arm’ of their company, supplying or co-ordinating all their skills support needs.

Sometimes for very good reasons, GTAs have gradually moved away from recruiting Training Officers, and have allocated parts of the role elsewhere, often to recruitment or sales and marketing functions.
You may well have made some of these decisions. Now, based on the findings of GTA England peer reviews over the last two years, we would invite you to review your decisions. Here are some of the features of the best-performing GTAs:

•Good responses to employer needs and good evidence of ‘tailored’ programmes
•GTAs are successful in attracting high quality employers and applicants year on year
•GTAs work well in partnership with employers to recruit and place learners
•Initial assessment is thorough and used effectively to plan learning
•Learning and assessment are planned well from the outset, integrating all aspects of the programme, including workplace training and assessment
•Feedback from both learners and employers is consistently good or better
•Highly effective management of learner progress at all levels
•Pastoral care arrangements are good and clearly accessible to learners
•Learner health, safety and welfare are paramount
•Good range of assessment methods and standard of work for learners in the workplace
•Good short and medium term targetsetting at reviews in the workplace; good employer input into the review process
•E&D, safeguarding and H&S well-embedded into the review process

Within GTAs judged to require improvement, peer review teams frequently found weaknesses in the set-up and planning phase of the training, which, when combined with a less than robust approach to
target-setting at reviews, allowed problems to develop with learner progress and timely achievement.
Much of the evidence from GTA England peer reviews is echoed in an Ofsted report compiled in 2010 entitled ‘Learning from the Best’, which observed that excellent links between on- and off-the-job training, and effective planning with the employer from the outset, were the key factors in making the learning relevant to the apprentice’s work, thus ensuring the sustainability of the apprentice programme, and the best learning outcomes.
The best practice observed during peer reviews, was found in GTAs which had retained the traditional role of ‘Training Officer’, where the tutor/assessor was a well-established link between the employer, the learner and the GTA, effectively co-ordinating the training process.

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