Employer Guidance

Employer 10-step plan Your Pre-Entry Checklist

The following 10-step plan is designed to help you quickly access information on how to enter the National Apprenticeship Awards 2014 before you register online:

    1. Check you are eligible to enter the Awards. Entries will only be accepted from employers and apprentices, based in England with SASE compliant Apprenticeships (Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for England). Please read the Terms and Conditions of Entry 2014 for further information.
    2. Choosing the category to enter. Employer of the Year (Small, Medium, Large and Macro categories) and Newcomer of the Year (SME and Large categories) are based on your total headcount – not full-time equivalent – of employees in the UK. Please download the category guidance PDFs in step 3 for more information.
    3. Download the category guidance – The category guidance provides an overview of the main questions you will be asked in the online application, including advice on what the judges are looking for in your answers and what information must be included.
    4. Optional listen to the presentation from a recent Information Workshop. If you missed the Information Workshop in your area please click on the link to view the Information Workshop Presentation.
    5. Ensure your organisation only submits one entry. Only one entry is allowed per employer organisation. If you are a multi-sited organisation, your application will be allocated to the Regional stage judging panel based upon the postcode of your organisation as given on the entry form. This is usually the location of your head office, or the site where the majority of the Apprenticeship training takes place.
    6. If you have a Parent Company or a subsidiary, please read this section before entering. A subsidiary may apply on behalf of the Parent Group, but this then excludes the Parent Group from applying. More than one subsidiary of the Parent Group may apply for the National Apprenticeship Awards, as long as the application refers only to the Apprenticeships that are delivered wholly by that subsidiary. Any winning recognition will go to the subsidiary and not the Parent Group. Please list your associated organisations in the “Parent/Subsidiary details” question under “Your Company Details” on the entry form.
    7. Use your word count wisely Using the downloaded Category Guidance (mentioned in step 3) consider and then plan your responses to each of the questions with a specific word count. Applications now allow you to attach a supporting document to help evidence the claims made in your responses. Use a chart, table or graph to help demonstrate metrics such as statistics, quantifiable information and comparative data. Remember to provide a base line to show how your programme has progressed. The upload facility should not be utilised for items such as certificates, prospectus documents or training materials.
    8. Remember this is an opportunity to promote your organisation.Judges are looking for entrants that showcase the benefits gained by an organisation, as a direct result of their commitment to Apprenticeships. The assessors and judges will be using the following criteria to score each employer application:

Commitment and future plans:

  • An outline of your organisation and your Apprenticeship programme.
  • Explain why your organisation decided to invest in Apprenticeships and how this investment fits within the overall organisational strategy.
  • Details of how Apprenticeships are integrated and embedded within your organisation.
  • Describe the tangible measures your organisation uses to demonstrate the success of your Apprenticeship programme.
  • Your plans for developing and enhancing your Apprenticeship programme, and if your entry is a resubmission, improvements made over the last 12 months.
  • Larger employers must include your investment plans for Apprenticeships across the business.

Business benefits:

  • Highlight the tangible organisational benefits that are a direct result of your investment in Apprenticeships.
  • Clearly link and demonstrate how your Apprenticeship programme resulted in the organisational benefits highlighted above. (Tangible ‘before’ and ‘after’ measures strengthen the entry).
  • How you measure the value for money of your Apprenticeship investment.
  • Clarification of how the organisational benefits meet, or exceed, the initial goals for your Apprenticeship programme.
  • Larger employers must explain how they evaluate their programme and how this information impacts on future development plans.

Apprentice benefits:

  • How you support your apprentices, beyond the baseline requirements of the relevant Apprenticeship framework(s) e.g. training, mentoring and ambassadorial activities.
  • How you measure the organisational impacts of increased apprentice competence and performance.
  • Ways in which apprentices have benefited from the opportunities presented by the Apprenticeship programme. Include relevant quotes from apprentices.
  • Demonstration of how apprentices are integrated into the wider workforce, and evidence of progression/promotion/retention successes.

Best practice and transferability:

  • Why you believe your delivery of your Apprenticeship programme is exceptional. Please make use of external validation/feedback if available.
  • Examples of how you are committed to promoting investment in skills and sharing best practice through ambassadorial activities.
  • Describe how your Apprenticeship programme is mutually beneficial to both apprentices and your organisation.
  • How your organisation supports Apprenticeships both internally and externally e.g. partnership activities, sharing best practice.
  • Indicate how you would promote Apprenticeships during the next 12 months if you are selected as Apprenticeship Employer of the Year.
  • Larger employers should evidence collaboration partnerships they have developed and community programmes they have implemented or been involved with. Consider highlighting work that has resulted in increasing the number of vulnerable and under represented groups in your Apprenticeship programme.
  • Show an exceptional delivery model evidencing not only how your business has benefited but the apprentices as well. Give examples of best practice, added value and how you act as a role model for other employers.
  • Remember that if you are awarded as a Regional winner, your application automatically passes through to the final and will be competing with the country’s elite to become a National Winner. After the regional announcement you will have one week to enhance your application before it goes through to the National Stage judging panel.
    1. Prepare in advance. When completing your entry please keep in mind the following key dates:
      • Friday 28 March 2014 at 5.00pm – closing date for all entries
      • Friday 30 May 2014 – status of application announced following assessment stage
      • Friday 27 June 2014 – Regional finalists announced
      • Early September 2014 – Regional winners announced
      • Monday 27 October 2014 – National Finalists announced
      • Thursday 13 November 2014 – National Winners announced
  1. Visit our Awards Q&As; if you have further queries prior to entering. Alternatively contact our Helpline on 0800 954 8896 (Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm) or email apprentice@mlr.co.uk