Coaching and mentoring within apprenticeships

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As an associate with EEF, Jackie Paterson is a self-employed Educational Consultant. She delivers EEF training courses on Leadership and Coaching and Mentoring and support clients to meet Ofsted requirements. Jackie works with employers and training providers to ensure a quality programme is delivered and Apprentice progression is effective. She has worked in both the private and public sectors working with employers, apprentices’, managers and educators offering guidance and support in delivering apprenticeship programmes. Jackie has worked with many Engineering and Manufacturing organisations in addition to the NHS, Public Services, MOD, Schools, Colleges, Universities and Training Providers.

Coaching and mentoring apprentices

The more quickly your Apprentices integrate into your teams, the better.  If they feel at home, they’ll be more productive, more engaged, learn more and qualify more quickly too.  Mentoring Apprentices often requires a change of attitude and behaviours within your organisation.   It requires you and your team making and taking time one-to-one with Apprentices.  Mentors become a wise, experience counsel for your Apprentices and coaches offer personalised occupational training and support.  The Apprentices get someone experienced and knowledgeable who they can turn to and learn from when they need it.
 
When you are looking to appoint Mentors to support and guide your Apprentices, find people who have lots of experience and who are highly respected within the company.  You want your Apprentices to be taught best practices and good habits from the start and be exemplars of the right way of doing things.  Your more experienced employees are also more likely to have some of the essential mentoring and/or coaching skills, such as:
  • Good listeners
  • Constructively critical
  • A questioning nature
  • Rapport builders
  • Able to guide and support
  • Strong role model
  • Excellent inter and intrapersonal skills
  • Well organised

Working with an Apprentice

We all like to know what we’re supposed to be doing in our job.  Even the most laid-back people you can imagine require a degree of framework if they are to be productive and positive team members.  You should work in partnership with your coaches and mentors to help develop apprentice learning and development frameworks within which their training and assessment can be structured and delivered.  Apprentices need to know their role and their trajectory within your business.  Give them a view of where you are taking them and show them the benefits of attaining their qualifications and completing their Apprenticeship.
 
The EEF Apprentice coaching and mentoring training course has been specifically designed to help support your team members with the knowledge, skills and confidence that they require to help their Apprentices grow in confidence and reach their goals.  The course is also very practical in terms of dealing with operational arrangements, such as reviewing and documenting/recording progress, being aware of the key documents within the Apprenticeship and ensuring that there is a clear system of communication within the Apprenticeship process.
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