Published on Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Quality spotlight: what makes a good apprenticeship provider?

Choosing the right training provider for an apprenticeship isn’t easy. There are so many out there that it can be hard to know which one is best. Firstly, potential apprentices will obviously choose a provider who offers the apprenticeship they’re interested in. Secondly, location will probably be an important factor. But possibly the most important factor is the quality of training and support the apprenticeship provider offers. One tool available to help judge how good an apprenticeship provider is their latest Ofsted report. All apprenticeship providers have to be inspected by Ofsted, and the information contained in those publicly available reports can really help sift through suitable providers.


Liverpool City Region Apprenticeship Hub is committed to raising the quality of apprenticeship training in the region. Therefore we encourage school leavers, parents, careers teachers and advisors, as well as employers to visit the Ofsted website and read providers’ reports.

One LCR provider who was recently inspected is Mode Training. They have more than twenty years’ experience of delivering training including apprenticeships to people in the region. Their report published this month highlights the factors that are important to consider when choosing an apprenticeship provider:

1. Professional Training Staff

The most exciting and interesting subject in the world can be made dull by the wrong teacher. More importantly, if tutors have no industry work experience, it’s hard for them to pass on the right skills and knowledge to apprentices. It makes sense that people who have worked in the industry make the best tutors. Mode’s philosophy is to employer tutors who have been professionals, or run businesses in the sectors they now teach about. In addition to this, they all have teaching qualifications and lots of experience of teaching apprentices who gain good results.

Here’s what Mode’s recent Ofsted report (June 2019) says about their tutors:

Tutors are skilled professionals. They use their experience and expertise successfully so apprentices develop industry standard skills and knowledge.

2. Career Progression

Choosing the right apprenticeship provider can boost career prospects.  It’s not just about doing an apprenticeship and things finishing there. It’s about lifelong learning. A good provider always talks to their apprentices about what opportunities are available once they finish their apprenticeship. What jobs they will be able to do, and what opportunities there are to train at even higher levels. For example, Mode have helped school pupils embark on the journey from pre-apprenticeship courses, to apprenticeships and onto becoming employers themselves. They encourage apprentices to see learning as a continual journey and progress onto further training after their apprenticeship. This is the sign of a good apprenticeship provider.

3. Apprentice Welfare

Apprentices will only achieve if they feel safe and supported. This is an important factor to ask about when choosing an apprenticeship provider. Furthermore, it is one of the areas that Ofsted inspects providers on.  A provider’s latest Ofsted report will explain how good a provider is at keeping apprentices safe, and supporting them in ways that suit their individual needs.

To illustrate, here’s what Mode’s Ofsted report says about their safeguarding and support:

Leaders, managers and tutors provide highly effective support for vulnerable apprentices. Consequently these apprentices remain on their course and make good progress.

4. Links to employers

Choosing a provider with great employer links will ensure they teach the skills businesses are looking for in Liverpool City Region. Furthermore, working closely with a network of local employers means they will have more apprenticeship opportunities. Mode are part of a wider community-focussed business network based at The Secret Warehouse. Being part of this thriving environment means apprentices benefit from being in daily contact with lots of growing businesses and all the opportunities this brings. They also work closely with partners in the region to ensure that the skills taught at Mode are what employers want to see in the people they recruit.

 Here’s what Mode’s recent Ofsted report said about this:

Mode leaders and managers work closely with stakeholders and employers to develop a curriculum that benefits the region and the local community.

Mode’s latest Ofsted report and the reports of other apprenticeship providers in Liverpool City Region are available to read on the Ofsted website.

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