Free (5)

16 May Top 5 tips in putting the pieces together

On the face of it, FE Colleges collaborating with regional competition to form a regional Apprenticeship company seems like a good idea.

For too many years, employers have been bombarded with prospecting and sales activity from competing providers (of all flavours), often having the opposite affect on the behaviour of the employers than that was intended.

Separation of the marketing activity from delivery; having a clearer go to market offer, aggregating market intelligence and providing a coherent and seamless employer journey will all improve the experience for employers.

Those adopting this model though will need to ensure they meet the Ronseal test…

They do what they say on the tin!

My top 5 tips:

  1. Get the concept agreed at the top of the management structure first, make sure all parties share the same vision for it and endorse the change.
  2. Explore all the ownership and governance arrangements available to you – some choices will adversely affect your costs through VAT, some could have additional legal reporting requirements.  It doesn’t need to be complicated, you just need to assure yourselves it’s the right vehicle.
  3. Lead the new culture from the start.  Simply creating a new brand is not enough.   Avoid just replicating what each college had before.
  4. Get the right people involved.  If you ‘shoe horn’ in people who are reluctant to move from what they are doing now, are they going to display the right ‘can do, will do’ characteristics you’d want from this new entity?
  5. Process, process, process.  If you’re going to be the best of the best, spend time to get your business processes right (from an employer and apprentice perspective).  Attach yourself to their journey and iron out duplication and bureaucracy.

Planned and executed well, a collaborative regional Apprenticeship company is a great innovation; done quickly and cheap it’s a costly overhead which lacks ownership, direction and value.