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  • Animated image for Facilities Management Facilities Management

    Essential services to help keep your school running smoothly.

  • Ingredients and cooking pans Food and Catering

    Everything you need for your school meals and catering requirements.

  • person working at a desk Furniture

    Helping you create inspiring spaces.

  • Computer screen and printer ICT

    Technology and communications to help you stay connected and current.

  • certificate and books Professional Services

    Supporting your people and professional services.

  • School bus Transport

    Help get your students from A to B.

  • light bulb Utilities

    Review your energy contracts to help save money.

school exercise books varied colours
Discover our complete range of exercise books.
Shop all
Blue school exercise book with ruled pages
Ruled paper exercise books for a range of subjects.
Shop ruled
Red school exercise book with squared paper
Squared paper exercise books, perfect for maths.
Shop squared
Always in stock essentials
Explore our large range of always available products and get what you need, when you need it.
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Making life easier for MATs
Explore the benefits YPO can provide to Academies and Multi Academy Trusts across the country.
Find out more
YPO range
Switch and save with our YPO range, with hundreds of products to choose from.
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To provide current perspective, expertise and guidance on the role of procurement in meeting net zero targets, public sector buying organisation YPO and local public sector innovation partnership iNetwork have come together again to host a series of free online webinars. Watch the series here.
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  • Construction worker Buildings and Construction

    Our expert team can help with building, construction, repairs and alterations. Browse our frameworks.

  • Meeting Corporate and Financial Services

    Help to increase efficiencies and provide better support to your people.

  • Blue light Emergency Services

    A dedicated team set up to support you and offer tailored frameworks.

  • Energy frameworks YPO Energy

    Find ways to reduce your energy consumption with our energy team.

  • Cleaning equipment Facilities and Waste Management

    Providing safe and cost effective working environments.

  • Fleet of white vans Fleet

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  • food and catering worker cooking Food and Catering

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    Create environments that are tailored to your unique needs.

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    Help to support independent living by sourcing aids and equipment.

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Speculation coupled with a lack of substantial facts has done nothing to cure the uncertainty currently felt by many. However, examples of apprenticeship providers overcoming concerns about the ‘new normal’ are already emerging, setting the precedent that fear is not the solution, but development and innovation are!

The effects of the pandemic

September is the beginning of the educational year and it is also seen as the peak month for the recruitment of apprenticeships. The next twelve weeks will prove crucial for apprenticeship providers - in how they develop and innovate their delivery and assessment of apprenticeship standards.

We need to ensure apprentices are receiving the highest quality of teaching available, whilst also maintaining safety and wellbeing advice between students and teachers. This may present a daunting obstacle for some providers, especially with each standard posing potentially different issues.

Transitioning to home learning

The recent consensus surrounding homeworking has been largely positive. Reduction in travel, an improved work life balance and arguably an increase in productivity, has collectively contributed to a widening of people’s perception to the benefits of working from home. If homeworking has been such a success, surely ‘home-learning’ can follow suit.

One university in the Midlands displayed a positive adaptation to apprenticeship delivery. The university reacted quickly and efficiently during the COVID-19 pandemic, transferring the whole programme online, including the two-day induction. This meant that in April 2020, 27 students started on a Senior Leader Executive MBA and MSc Management Apprenticeships

Some challenges were discussed by learners during their induction and feedback included a lack of face to face communication and an uncertainty of the future. However, these were feelings being expressed by many during the pandemic regardless of the new home learning. This case exemplifies the success that changes to apprenticeship delivery can have for other providers.

Embracing the ‘new normal’

Although not all apprenticeship standards appear to have potential for ‘home learning’, the majority do.  The standards that may be trickier to adapt (particularly those requiring hands on activities) call for innovative thinking.

It must be possible to continue to deliver apprenticeship standards to a high level and to a substantial cohort. Social distancing may force some standards to reduce their numbers in the immediate future, however changes to learning environments are already taking place. One-way systems, floor tape for social distancing, cleaning stations, individual equipment, redesign of classrooms, outdoor learning and staggered timetables are just some techniques that can be implemented to allow for a safe return to educational environments.

The ‘new normal’ in apprenticeships will differ with each standard, but we know that technology will become indispensable in how the majority of courses are delivered, social distancing will become ordinary, environments will be redesigned and become familiar. Change is a difficult process for many, but we are more than capable of adapting. With perseverance and positivity, apprenticeships can be one of the most valuable resources in supporting the nation and its population moving forward into a stronger economy with a greater array of qualified personnel. 

Our HR Services team are here to help you, providing guidance and support with any apprenticeship challenges or requirements. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team!