Apprenticeships in the time of Coronavirus: What to expect from your first 12 weeks
Written on: 29 April 2020
Written by: Frances Hardcastle
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Starting an apprenticeship programme can be a slightly nerve-wracking time and it can be hard to know what to expect. In these strange times, your first few weeks might be different from what you first imagined when you started the application process. Getting started on a new job from your living room instead of a glossy office might not be what you had in mind, but your team at Baltic are here to help you get off to a flying start on your apprenticeship.
In this blog, we'll cover what you can expect from us during the first 12 weeks of your programme, including the induction sessions, technical training, and the extra courses we're offering to help boost your training during quarantine. Our 12 week onboarding plan is customisable depending on your employer and your situation at work, but we hope this helps give you an idea of the kinds of things you'll be doing.
Are you ready to dive in? Let's go!
Week 1: Getting Started
Your first week as an apprentice will be all about getting to know your programme and your new company.
You'll start with an online induction session detailing what your programme involves and how each milestone can be achieved. You'll also be given an Induction Task to help you explore your new job role and see how it fits into the rest of the organisation.
Alongside this induction from Baltic, your new employer is also likely to have some activities prepared to help you settle in and get up to speed with your new role. This might include things like video calls and quizzes to meet your colleagues, chatting with other departments to learn more about the company, one-to-one sessions with your manager to set your goals, and HR activities such as health & safety training.
Week 2: Become a Microsoft Office Hero
You'll be able to learn at your own pace using e-learning materials which cover the basic, intermediate and advanced functions of the Microsoft Office suite. This activity is also great for completing your Functional Skills requirements for your apprenticeship.
Learning to use Microsoft Office effectively is a skill that'll put you in a great position throughout your career. The best of workplace friendships can stem from knowing how to Mail Merge in a crisis, and understanding the possibilities of a well-placed pivot table could save you hours of time in data-driven tasks.
Week 3: Meet your Learning Mentor
Alongside more self-paced Office training, in Week 3 you'll get to know your Baltic Learning Mentor. Your learning mentor is here to guide you through your apprenticeship programme, and you'll meet with them regularly online to work on your assessments and get support and advice. In this first session you'll get to use the tools and systems you'll need to succeed. You'll also be set the first piece of work for your portfolio.
Week 4: Your First Assessment Plan
This week will be different for everyone as you'll be working on your portfolio and completing the tasks set during your Learning Mentor session. This task will be tailored to your apprenticeship programme and your job role.
Weeks 5 & 6: Boost Your Skills with e-Learning
To help you make the most of any downtime you might have at the start of your apprenticeship, we've put together some additional training bundles to give you an extra boost in your job.
You and your employer can choose an e-learning pathway suited to your role. Each course can be done from home at your own pace, so you can fit it flexibly around your day-to-day responsibilities at work.
Week 7: Technical Training in the SMART Classroom
This week (usually week 6 or 7, depending on your programme) will be entirely dedicated to your apprenticeship training. Over 5 days in the SMART Classroom, you'll complete your first technical training unit.
Technical training usually happens in a 5 day block every 5-8 weeks. With the current Coronavirus situation, we're adding more flexibility for your employer to bring some units forward, so you might have training a bit more frequently than this.
Weeks 8 & 9: Assessment Plan 2
You'll be working with your Learning Mentor to set and complete another assessment plan. This will be specific to your job role and will be different for every apprentice!
Week 10: MTA Qualification
Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certifications are industry-recognised qualifications and can help back-up your expertise in an area of tech. Some MTAs are already incorporated into our apprenticeships, but we're offering a choice of three extra qualifications to get you through these strange times: Operating Systems Fundamentals, Software Development Fundamentals, and HTML 5 Fundamentals.
Weeks 11 & 12: Catch Up on Your e-Learning
During weeks 11 and 12, you'll have time to continue working through the e-learning programmes you have chosen. Again, this is totally flexible and can fit around the work you might be doing on your assessments or for your workplace.
Help & Support
We know that it's not idea to be starting work in the middle of a global pandemic, and the unusualness of the current situation can be a little overwhelming at times. Although you might be physically isolated, you're not alone. At Baltic, we're on hand to support you throughout your programme, and can help you and your employer adjust your training to your individual circumstances.
As a Baltic Apprentice, you also have access to our Mindful Employer helpline, where you can get free and confidential advice about anything you might be worried about.