I’ve been working with unionlearn to create a range of new tools for apprentices and those thinking of becoming apprentices. Called Apprenticeship Essentials, this suite of online resources can be accessed either via a dedicated app or on through the unionlearn website.
Apprenticeship Essentials has range of features, from pay checking and guidance to elearning and job vacancies. Some of these require registration, but all are free to use.
There are guides to apprenticeship basics, entering the world of work, employment rights and how trade unions can help in the workplace. There is also a selection of elearning modules. These cover the 20% learning rule, knowing your rights, trade unions and apprentices, your responsibilities and case studies.
Rate your apprenticeship
We have developed a ‘Rate your Apprenticeship’ tool, inspired by the Tinder dating app, that allows apprentices to left/right swipe through some simple statements that reflect their experiences. This allows the software to rate their apprenticeship in training, wellbeing, support and employment rights. It also picks up any ‘red flags’ that indicate any significant issues, such as a possible breach of employment law.
Apprenticeship pay calculator
There is also an apprenticeship Pay Calculator, building on previous work by the South West TUC, that takes users through a range of questions that help determine if the current level of pay meets the legal minimum. This is done by considering factors like age, costs and progress.
A second phase of tools are under development, scheduled to go live later in July. This includes a comprehensive Apprenticeship Vacancies facility, powered by ‘big data’ from the official government National Apprenticeship Service database. This allows potential apprentices to carry out a detailed search, with a save facility for both their regular queries and any shortlisted vacancies.
Choosing the right apprenticeship
Another tool, a ‘Choose the right apprenticeship’ facility, utilises a personality test to help identify which ways of working would potential be best suited. It also matches the participant with the relevant level of apprenticeship and suggests some possible industries for suitable apprenticeships. Finally, a discussion forum is also in development, allowing apprentices to share their experiences and ask questions online.