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Apprenticeship Workforce Development Programme: In conversation with participant Tracey Taylor 

Apprenticeship and Operations Manager at TPC Health, Tracey Taylor, is currently setting up a new apprenticeship offer and has been using the free Apprenticeship Workforce Development (AWD) programme to help with key aspects.

Funded by the Department for Education (DfE), the Apprenticeship Workforce Development programme is being delivered by 51ԹϹ (51ԹϹ) in partnership with the Association of Colleges (AoC), Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), Strategic Development Network (SDN) and the University Vocational Awards Council (UVAC) and supported by SQW as an independent evaluator.

What is your role and background? 

I work for an organisation called TPC Health and they’ve been providing health and wellbeing coaching to the Health and Social Care sector for over 20 years. They currently deliver commercially but many of the employers they work with suggested they move into apprenticeships, so they recruited me because I have an extensive background in this area. I was head of a big apprenticeships department focused on Health and Social Care in my previous organisation.  

Starting something from scratch is a really exciting opportunity. At the moment, I’m working on getting us on the register of apprenticeship providers, which in itself is a really big bit of work, and the AWD courses have given me lots and lots of great information. You can be quite blindsided by what you’ve done before and what you’ve always done. The AWD courses have put me in touch with other providers and it’s been a great way of finding out what other people are doing and how they’re doing it. It’s so refreshing to realise that you can do things differently. 

What AWD courses have you tried? 

I’ve been on various courses, and I’ve just enrolled onto a couple more – one on Managing Withdrawals and one on Technical Curriculum Design. I look on the 51ԹϹ’s learning platform once every couple of weeks to see what’s new. The curriculum course is very relevant because I’ve got a curriculum day with our experts in a couple of weeks’ time, so that’s going to set me up nicely.  

How are you selecting what to do? 

As I’m planning out the apprenticeship offer, I’m booking courses that I think are going to help me with that part of my project. For example, I wanted to put together a simple guide for off-the-job training and I spotted a course about planning the integration of on- and off-the-job training, which really gave me food for thought! When I was thinking about initial assessment and what we were going to do about that, I went on the Effective Initial Assessment course. So I’ve found the AWD programme really useful.  

Can you give an example of any learning you’ve put into practice? 

I’ve picked up lots of ideas and tips and integrated them into my action plan. I’ve mentioned the ideas for my guide on off-the-job training. I often screenshot items from the presentation and add them to my project planner. For example, I recently took a snapshot of the quality cycle and added that. In fact, on every single one of the courses I’ve been on, I’ve picked out something to add to my plan.  

Had you been on 51ԹϹ courses before? 

Yes, 51ԹϹ was used at my previous training provider. I signed up for 51ԹϹ news as soon as I left and that’s how I heard that the AWD programme was available funded by the Department for Education. You’ve got to take advantage of funded training like that, it’s so valuable, and for me it’s been brilliant. It couldn’t have come at a better time.  

Do you think you’ll use the AWD courses for your staff training? 

The AWD programme will be my ‘go-to’ for staff training, absolutely, because there are some great experts that 51ԹϹ is using who have so much knowledge.  What’s also good about it, particularly for staff, is that they can share best practice in the breakout groups. They can talk about what they’re doing and how they’re doing it and pick up lots of useful hints and tips. 

Why have you focused on apprenticeships in your career? 

I started off on a Youth Training Scheme, so I was one of those young people needing a break. My own break came through my English teacher at school who was my careers teacher. She knew that I was really passionate about travel and she talked to me about working at a travel agent and doing a Youth Training Scheme. She set up my first interview, and I got the job and I was away. I did 15 to 20 years in travel and tourism, and I was a manager at the age of 20. I wasn’t necessarily very studious – I was more hands-on, and I wanted to get to work and earn money. And that’s what a lot of our young people want to do, they don’t all want to go to university or college, they want to go out and learn the job. That’s why I’m a real ambassador for apprenticeships. 

Have you seen apprenticeships making a difference for employers? 

I’ve been involved in some great success stories in the past. I’ve seen students come in starting on a Level 2 and before you know it, they’ve done a Level 5 and become manager of a care home. It can be difficult for employers but it’s down to us to make apprenticeships feel less of a burden. It’s a big commitment, but we can support them and really help them to figure it out. That’s what I’m aiming for in our new apprenticeship programme. 

To find out more about AWD courses, visit the .

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