If your business currently offers apprenticeships for over-21s, or if you’re planning to do so in future, blended learning is a fantastic way for your apprentices to acquire new skills and knowledge, all whilst gaining valuable on-the-job work experience. So what’s it all about? Let’s take an in-depth look at this varied and wide-ranging approach to career training.
What is blended learning?
Put simply, blended learning is a technique that uses a combination of different teaching methods, to ensure that your apprentice gets a well-rounded grounding in all aspects of their vocation. Depending on the job, blended learning for your apprentices could involve a mixture of:
- in-house training
- site-based learning
- face-to-face seminars and tutorials as part of a vocational course or degree
- online resources such as webinars and interactive quizzes.
Benefits for apprentices
Higher level apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships are likely to require a combination of practical and theoretical understanding, which matches the ethos of the blended learning approach.
One of the other big benefits of blended learning is that it’s likely to meet the needs of your learners, whatever their individual learning style. Some people prefer to read up on a new topic, while others like to talk it through with colleagues, or see it in action. Blended learning offers all of these opportunities, giving learners exactly what they need to develop new knowledge and skills.
Blended learning is also highly flexible, meaning that older apprentices who may have commitments outside their work role are more easily able to fit their learning around the demands of their lifestyle.
Benefits for businesses
If you’re not already on-board with the business advantages of taking on apprentices, perhaps these can convince you.
- An instant source of new talent, when your apprentices qualify. If you’ve treated your recruits well during their apprenticeship, they are likely to repay you by offering added value to your business after cutting their teeth there. You’ll save money on recruitment, too!
- Grow your business. Taking on apprentices is an investment that will pay off. You’ll be able to grow your business, with the aid of highly trained specialists in your sector.
- Fresh ideas. The best apprenticeships are a two-way learning process. As you help them to learn the tricks of the trade, your newest team members may be able to offer alternative perspectives on the business.
If you’re offering higher apprenticeships, the blended learning model makes a lot of sense:
- It’s not just a benefit for learners; the flexible nature of the blended learning approach will enable you to get the best from every individual apprentice. If your work is seasonal, you can focus more on practical learning at one time of year, returning to the theory aspect at another time.
- Reduced costs. The online side of your teaching will be cheaper than face-to-face training, so blended learning is a cost-effective way to offer a full grounding in your industry.
- Effective delivery. Because blended learning is known to improve motivation and engagement in learners, you can be confident that your apprenticeship is delivering the information it needs to, and that you’ll get the best value out of your investment.
Want to know more? Find out about the ins and outs of apprenticeships, the costs involved, and how offering apprenticeships could benefit your business.