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Following ICE’s Annual Apprenticeship Conference, Richard Davis, ICE’s Apprenticeship Manager, talks about how employers and ICE have been supporting apprentices through what has been a difficult year for their development.
During ICE and employer discussions, it was agreed there is a need to keep apprentices engaged to help them feel that they are part of something. For example, one employer described an 8-week internship that they had run for new starters with the aim of developing communication and collaboration. This exposed apprentices to a rota of experienced staff throughout the project, to encourage communication with others in the organisation.
Communication is seen as an important issue to help maintain motivation and engagement. Communication should be actively encouraged in apprentices, their peers and mentors. Where opportunities for learning by osmosis and immediate chat in the office are currently very few and far between, apprentices need to be encouraged to use other means available to communicate, and for them not to be afraid to do so: to continue to develop the community spirit, help satisfy the want to feel part of something bigger and enable them to learn, develop and record the evidence needed for successful completion of their apprenticeship.
Regular contact is not only reassuring in helping the apprentice to understand that they are either doing the right or the wrong thing, but also a means of being able to check up on their state of wellbeing.
Organisations, including ICE’s Benevolent Fund, recognise mental wellbeing is an important issue and are taking steps to look out for their employees and to provide support where necessary.
For ICE members, the Benevolent Fund has a 24-hour helpline, runs webinars and workshops, has an online wellbeing resource library, and provides mental health support, to name but a few of the benefits available.
ICE’s Membership Recruitment Team continues to give guidance and support to apprentices and their employers.
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