First and foremost, the key part in building success in any environment is creating a positive relationship. I like to have open and honest conversations with each learner about what they enjoy doing, what they want to work towards and what journey they want to go on over the next 16 to 18 months. This can uncover mutual interests while allowing me to see how I can work best with that individual.
All this takes place before even talking about the apprenticeship or what is needed to complete it. After all, ensuring I’ve done some background research and checked that the learner is on the right apprenticeship is one of the most important steps in securing their achievement.
Having regular check-ins with the learner means I can praise them individually on anything they have done that has impressed. On the other hand, it allows me to have a conversation as to why they might not be up to standard in any areas and seek avenues to support them. It could be extra meetings or sitting down with their managers to discuss anything work-related. My job is to support and guide; this puts me in a great place to keep the learner engaged on the programme.
It also lets me work with the learner on developing social skills. I always listen first and show it by making eye contact and responding appropriately to what the learner says. Learners from areas of deprivation might not have had as many chances in life to do things that seem normal to other people, such as going to work or on holiday, or even simply experiencing structure in their lives. It is even more important to build trust with them before I ask them to do something for me.