How apprenticeships can support different learning styles

8 mins read time

Apprenticeships are incredibly adaptable in terms of learning styles and delivery, with the flexibility to suit the development of individual skillsets across a variety of roles and sectors.

Everyone learns in different ways, but the current dominance of university education and more traditional learning paths doesn’t always support this. At Lifetime, we develop programmes that champion multiple learning styles and methods. It’s what encourages more social mobility, freedom of career choice and widens opportunities for all, across diverse industries.

Here we explain how work-based learning can be incredibly inclusive and suit a wide variety of learning methods. We delve into different learning styles, explaining how Lifetime works with learners and employers to enhance apprenticeship learning and work towards successful qualifications and End-point Assessments.


What is work-based learning?

Work-based learning is any learning or professional development that takes place at work and goes toward professional improvement, usually involving certification.

Learners can be supported to fill skill gaps in particular areas of a business, putting their knowledge into practice in their day-to-day work, to upskill in areas that matter to business.

Research from the University of Birmingham shows that 86% of employers said that apprenticeships helped them develop relevant skills for their organisation and, once qualified, apprentices were 15% more employable than employees with other qualifications.

What are the benefits of work-based learning?

Apprenticeships provide a practical way to implement learning into the workplace. They are suited to candidates who are keen to commit to work and study but would prefer a practical approach to learning.

They’re adaptable, because learners are assessed via a mixture of different assessment styles, such as essays, practical tests or reports or face-to-face assessments. They also widen the goal posts into career entry, making higher education more accessible to learners from all backgrounds to drive social mobility.

The learning styles that are accessible via apprenticeships are well-suited to today’s world of work, where active problem-based learning is key and creativity, logical reasoning and analytical skills are a core part of the workplace. This is called phenomenon-based learning, which places emphasis on skills like communication, creativity and critical thinking.

The advantages of work-based learning centre around the mix and flexibility of different learning methods, as well as the hands-on support available to learners from trainers and managers. Learning in the workplace is also a very social process. Learning with others seems to have better outcomes, so channelling students through structured and personalised corporate curriculums is a seamless way to upskill and learn.

Take me back to chapters.

Learning styles in the workplace

It’s vital to support apprentice learning in the workplace as much as possible, to make sure they benefit from the training – and use it to propel both themselves and your business forward.

Identifying and accommodating your apprentices’ preferred learning style and allowing them to flourish in the best learning environment to suit them is important.

Preferred learning styles can vary greatly between individuals and across different professions, sectors and teams. A person’s learning style is essentially the most effective way in which they take in and process new information. Everyone does this in a unique way, though there are several core methods that are applicable to most people.

We all have a combination of which learning style we respond to best, and no single style or mixture is the same, or right or wrong. They can also be developed over time, so the flexibility of apprenticeships allows this to be adapted.

Take me back to chapters.

Different kinds of learners

There are six kinds of learning styles, including:

Visual and spatial
these learners prefer to use spatial and visual methods to learn via images and visual aids
learners who have a preference for sound and rhythm to aid the learning process, or who process information best by listening
people who prefer this type of learning absorb information via words and linguistic skills, both in written and speech form
Physical and kinaesthetic
these learners have a preference for learning practically by absorbing and learning on the job and the work environment
these learners work best by relating to others in group settings
these learners work best solving problems internally or working in smaller groups or alone

How we support different kinds of learners at Lifetime

At Lifetime, we have many years of experience, working with learners and employers, tailoring their learning and apprenticeship programmes to drive business and apprentice success.

Our professional services apprenticeships in particular are extremely accessible to all different learner types due to their varied delivery method. These include HR, Learning and Development as well as Leadership and Management. They also enable learners to pass back the same understanding and learner support to the teams they manage.

Training providers can develop much more tailored support and personalised learning experiences, compared to more traditional learning environments, such as schools, colleges and universities. They can adjust delivery methods to suit each learner and work directly with them to make sure the learner is happy with their progress.

Lifetime’s coaches take a personal approach to make sure the learner is both aware of and in control of their learning. We never put learners in boxes – it's how we work with them to achieve their full potential.

Lifetime learner support

We have a large network of enrolment teams that work closely with learner support teams, so our apprentices are helped at every stage of their programme. Our learning coaches also work on a one-to-one basis with each learner, with learning support coordinators who liaise with employers to get the best out of the apprentice employer relationship.

Our learner support teams recognise that apprenticeships are vital to the learner, as they’re receiving accredited training while holding down a job; it’s a learning programme with a real purpose and context.

Many learners that Lifetime work with haven’t had a good learning experience at school and soon discover that apprenticeships are completely different. Many prefer the hands-on approach from the trainers and the flexible way of learning.

Take me back to chapters.

Our learner onboarding process
Identifying learner needs
From the very first coaching session, our coaches identify any additional learning requirements, like dyslexia, and establish if there are certain learning methods an apprentice prefers.
Learning style assessments
Coaches carry out a learning style assessment, then use a neurodiversity software, to identify stronger areas of cognitive processing to connect with optimum learning styles.
Tailored learning
The coach then identifies and implements this learning preference in the delivery of the programme and works with each employer to support both learner and employer through the process.

Tailored learning for apprentices

All our resources are developed for different learning styles and can be easily accessed by learners using our cutting-edge, e-learning platform.

Learners can choose the type of resource to suit their learning style, depending on which level programme they’re on (whether that’s reading an article, listening to a podcast or watching a YouTube video). If someone isn’t as keen on listening, they can access transcripts to modules and learners with additional learning needs can access a set of resources designed to really support them, like visual PowerPoints.

All our programmes are delivered via a mixture of mediums, such as one-to-one sessions, webinars, skills days and interactive resources, with feedback from coaches.

Overcoming programme challenges

With our years of experience and industry-leading learner support system, we can overcome challenges that crop up along the way. We take several routes to ensure we have a full understanding of a learner from the start of their programme, working with them closely throughout to adapt to their changing needs.

The needs of learners often change along the way, as they grow in confidence, discover new ways of learning or need to adapt as the programme stretches them. Our Lifetime coaches adapt delivery methods to suit changing learning preferences, reassessing learners along the way and adapting accordingly. Many learners alternate between two to three learning styles, sometimes also discovering new ones that suit them.

Our coaches work with learners to overcome hurdles that might stand in the way of their qualification. For example, adapting assessment methods to work with specific learning differences, such as dyscalculia. Regular learning assessments help learners and coaches to uncover the best teaching approaches, whether that’s group learning or graphs instead of transcripts.

Coaches and learner teams work with employers to make sure apprentices get the support they need in the workplace through the right training. They carry out 12-week reviews with employers to develop ongoing conversations around each learner. Once employers can see the benefits of impactful and productive learning, they are motivated to support the learner team to develop the best learning environment for their apprentices.

Take me back to chapters.

Apprenticeships provide a practical, hands-on way of learning in the workplace. We recognise that everyone learns in different ways. It’s why at Lifetime, our learner support team work closely with each learner, tailoring learning to suit their individual needs.

Supporting learners

through apprenticeships

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