Experience counts for everything when you are choosing an apprenticeship training provider to work with, explains Sharon White

This month leading training and qualifications provider Watson Martin celebrates two years of being a main provider of HR and L&D apprenticeships following the company’s successful application to join the RoATP* in January 2018.

As a business we have developed significant expertise in the apprenticeship market. This experience, built up over time by the hard work of specialist tutors, has helped us to successfully deliver HR and L&D programmes nationally to over 100 apprentices from a wide range of organisations in the public, private and charitable sectors.  As experts in the HR and L&D industry, we are very proud of our reputation among the many apprentices and companies we work with.

However, you don’t need to delve very deeply online to discover that apprenticeships have attracted their fair share of negative headlines since the system was overhauled in 2017.

Just earlier this month, an education think-tank, the EDSK, claimed that half of the courses offered in England were ‘fake’ and the scheme was ‘descending into farce’. Personnel Today revealed in September that a quarter of employers felt ‘let down’ by their apprenticeship training providers with the quality of tuition being a major concern.  There have also been frequent calls for the Government to reform both the apprenticeship levy and the 20% off-the-job training requirement.

Despite these reports, all the available data indicates that apprenticeships improve staff retention, loyalty and job satisfaction. Overall opinion is that schemes are a great way of upskilling existing teams as well as training new recruits, therefore, investing in the future of the workforce. Yet the fact remains that apprenticeships are bureaucratic and so can be problematic to run which is why it is important to work with the right training provider.

As experienced HR and L&D apprenticeship providers, we know that many employers find the process of starting an apprentice scheme daunting and certainly reading about potential problems in the media doesn’t help! Having delivered levels 3 and 5 HR and L&D apprenticeships nationally to many different levy-paying companies, we know how to tailor programmes to cater for individual working environments along with organisational cultures, policies and values.  This experience puts us ahead of the game when it comes to helping apprentices meet their 20% off-the-job training requirement and we work with employers to achieve the best possible results both for the business and the individual.

Watson Martin wants your organisation’s apprenticeship scheme to make the news for all the right reasons so don’t forget to take experience and reputation into account when you are selecting the training provider to work with your apprentices.

Sharon White leads Watson Martin’s Apprenticeship business with Director Heather Watson. She has over 20 years’ experience in senior roles in the learning and development sector and extensive knowledge of developing apprenticeship programmes and helping employers to maximise the return on their levy. To discuss your apprenticeship requirements with Sharon please call us on 020 7932 2760 to arrange an appointment.

Register here to receive Watson Martin’s latest apprenticeship resources.

“I am passionate about HR and so I am really enjoying the apprenticeship programme.  The tasks and assignments are all very relatable to my job and so I can apply the new knowledge I learn on the programme to my role at work, plus I can really see the added value of gaining the CIPD qualification,” Saira Lawson-Brown, HR apprentice with John Lewis Partnership.


* RoATP – Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers