Further to the announcement of another period of national lockdown, Damar would like to reassure all of partner-employers and apprentices that our programmes will continue to run as planned.
What remote education will be made available for apprentices?
All of our apprenticeships are delivered using a blended delivery model, flexible enough to run entirely without in-person classes or meetings. Apprentices can access and complete learning activities through our bespoke online learning environment, Damar OpenLearning, as well as having access to their OneFile e-portfolio and specialist online and hard copy resources where necessary. These resources provide a base from which our coaches and specialist tutors can run online group workshops and individual meetings using videoconferencing technology. Apprentices also have access to group forums on Damar OpenLearning, moderated by Damar coaches, where they can interact with other students on the same qualification and at a similar point in their studies, in order to share ideas and questions.
Is there any impact on delivery arrangements, such as timetabling and assessment arrangements?
The vast majority of apprenticeship learning activity is flexible and can be undertaken at times and locations that are most suited to the student and their employer to meet the 20% off-the-job requirement. Our programmes have been designed to include:
- Bite-sized resources that are freely accessible as and when required.
- Group workshops scheduled in advance, in many instances with different options to choose from.
- Individual meetings, which apprentices can book themselves via Microsoft bookings.
There may be some changes to examinations, where awarding organisations are not set up to deliver remotely – we will contact individual employers and apprentices should there be any change.
What’s expected of apprentices?
Successful apprenticeships are based on a solid partnership between Damar, the employer and the apprentice. We know that the best learning experience comes from apprentices being fully engaged and taking ownership of their development. As such, ultimate responsibility for learning rests with the apprentice. Employers provide a supportive environment, appropriate work and time for off-the-job study. Our coaches and specialist tutors will ensure that the programme is designed and delivered appropriately. Coaches will be supportive but also robust in holding apprentices accountable for achieving the learning goals they set for themselves and highlight if progress is falling behind. This includes the use of Microsoft Bookings which allows apprentices to see their coach’s calendar and book meetings in accordance with their training plans.
What arrangements have been put in place for apprentices that require specialist equipment or facilities?
Our apprenticeships do not require any specialist equipment or facilities, beyond access to a computer device and the internet. This equipment is provided by the apprentice’s employer, regardless of whether the apprentice is on-site or working from home. Where apprentices have been furloughed or made redundant, we have worked closely with the individuals to enable them to continue with their learning, and, where applicable, helped them look for alternative employment opportunities.
Is any support available for students without devices, connectivity or a suitable environment for learning?
We work closely with our partner-employers to identify any apprentices who may have limitations around access to devices, connectivity and/or a suitable environment for learning. Where apprentices are continuing in their roles, the primary responsibility falls to their employer to provide this and Damar provides support and guidance where any issues are identified. Where apprentices are furloughed or made redundant, Damar will work with these individuals to identify and rectify any issues they are experiencing that could limit their continued progress.
What support is available for students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)?
We continue to identify and support students with SEND in line with our programme plans and strategies. Where additional specialist tutor support is required, this is delivered using the same methods as our core programmes, with a flexible approach well-suited to remote learning.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss how Damar can help you or your organisation, please contact us.