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Author Topic: Apprentice Training - Block Courses - are the ITO keeping up with their side of  (Read 5954 times)

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Offline Jaxcat

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Are there any apprentices or employers out there who are dis-satisfied with the promises re block course scheduling for apprentices?  In the correspondence sent to apprentices and employers the ITO say this:
"The ITO has made changes to the delivery structure of the apprenticeship programme to ensure trainees are meeting their learning requirements.  Further details are attached to this letter."  In the further details they say - "Your pprentice will attend block course of 1 week duration approximately every 17 weeks for the 4 years of their apprenticeship.  they will complete their theory assessment sduring the block courses, so there will be no assessments to complete and send in for marking betwen block courses.  the PGDR ITO will advise you and your trainee in writing of their block course dates no less than 4 weeks prior to the course start date."   Then in the Terms and Conditions of the apprenticeship contract they say - "The PGDR ITO will provide fit for purpose training resources (2) Ensure the timely processing of training agreement registrations, invoicing of training fees and issuing of training mterials and resouces (3) PROVIDE TIMELY NOTICE OF TRAINEE BLOCK COURSE ENROLMENT (4) Provide the trainee access to their trainee file (5) Ensure on the job training responsibilities are communicated to the employer. 

So:
1.

Linkback: https://www.plumbers.nz/polytechs-and-unitecs/82/apprentice-training-block-courses-are-the-ito-keeping-up-with-their-side-of/875/
Have you learned lessons only of those who admired you, and were tender with you, and stood aside for you?  Have you not learned great lessons from those who braced themselves against you, and disputed the passage with you?  (Walt Whitman 1819-1891)  American Poet

Offline Jaxcat

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So:
1  Are apprentices getting on block courses every 17 weeks (approximately) - not sure what lee way they given themselves on the approximately but I would have through 1 - 2 weeks either side would be fair.
2.  Are the on job training responsibilities being communicated to employers?

This "new" system was sold to us as being the answer to the training dilemma.  The idea was to get new apprentices on a block course pretty early so they could do the working at heights and working in enclosed spaces out of the way along with a chance to have the general apprenticeship landscape explained to them, an opportunity to meet with tutors etc - but if 17 weeks is come and gone and they haven't even been given the four weeks notice, then it kind of makes a mockery of it all.  As employers and apprentices we shouldn't be doing all the chasing - the ITO clip the ticket on the apprenticeship and should be doing their job without having to be chased.  Surely this is as strong an argument as any for doing away with ITO's and contracting direct to polytechs where we might get treated like valued customers instead of a bother.  We just want what is best for our lads and they should be assisting us.  The promises have a hollow echo and I can't see that this system is being any better managed that the previous one.  No wonder the uptake of people employing apprentices is so low - you have to invest time in training the guys (which is the easy part) but dealing with the ITO is just bloody hard work and time consuming.

Offline Thunderhead

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Sign them up at the unitech it is a seperate entity and when your an apprtentise there you have NO dealing with the ito what so ever...You only deal with the unitech and thats only when they send you the dates for the block courses...apart from that they will leave you alone to get on with your own job.

Offline Jaxcat

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Well, no happier today after advice that comms (presume that means communication) is coming (but then again so is Christmas!  Doesn't help me as a business to plan ahead, and doesn't help my apprentices who should have been advised of block course dates by now.  The problem is numbers, but that problem sits squarely with the ITO - no me, or my apprentices.  If they've promised delivery then they should have done their homework better if the numbers aren't there to sustain full block courses.  It shouldn't be a surprise to them that apprentice numbers are down - we've going through a recession.  Surely they have planned adequately for lower numbers for 2012 and therefore block courses will be impacted.  Send out a letter informing employers and apprentices if this is the case and explain it to them, but don't wait until you should be giving them dates for their block courses -that's shutting the gate after the horse has bolted.

Mind you I imagine the ITO are very busy trying to find marriage partners to bolster their own position.  The govt axe is poised to fall on ITO's - not unsurprisingly as there are so many of them duplicating services.  To be honest they should be servicing us well so we become their allies against any cutting by Government - at the moment I'm hoping the axe falls the money going into support them goes more directly to the service providers and the employers.

Core business - which is servicing apprentices in one way or another doesn't seem to be at the forefront of their thinking - or at least from a customer's point of view it doesn't appear to.  I might be wrong - but the proof is in the pudding.

Offline Thunderhead

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i think that they work on the basis that if they do nothing to advise you the employer or the apprentise directly of these up comming block courses then block courses will be missed and the LENGTH of the apprentiship will be strecthed out MEANING more govt funding because the apprentise will have to attend courses after the 8000 hours is up...which is exactly what happned to me!...i was not informed of course dates, no reminders were sent and so it took me 4 1/2 years years to complete...meaning i had to enroll again at tech this year meaning more funding from the govt....damed if you do and dambed if you dont jax.

Offline aboutgas

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Hi Thunder

Of course they want you to overrun the 4 years under the new scheme as for every year you go over there are going to charge you $1200 you can see how this is going to work for them >:(
Unless the moral improves the floggings will continue

Offline Jaxcat

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Comms arrived with the answer as to why block courses are not being scheduled.  A $1 million + loss!!  Holy crap - I thought I had problems!!!  However it doesn't answer why it took so long to tell industry.  It is in our interests to support a good ITO - and by keeping us informed they keep us onside - this point appears to have been lost on the ITO Board and operational management.  I don't accept that they only discovered this recently - they would have see this blowout coming one would think at least a quarter ago - if they are doing projections for their budgeting.  I am disappointed that we have had to wait so long.  There are not thousands of employers employing trainees - and this information could have been re-layed to those employers affected a lot sooner.  The problem is - who do you complain to if you are not happy with the ITO - The Minister for Tertiary Education?  The Minister of Education?  The ITO themselves (lol), NZQA, TEC???

I hope the ITO realise that a problem shared is a problem halved and that they should have talked to industry sooner and got us on side.  I see more fee increases have been alluded to.  I hope it isn't going to be another minor increase which ended up being 30% on previous years.  I think the level of fees, given the current climate is almost about as much as can be handled by industry at present.  The ITO really need to be more transparent if we are expected to suck another increase.  I would also hope they are looking at internal efficiencies and an organisationr review too to ensure every dollar spent is being spent for the betterment of trainees.  I have no doubt that somewhere along the line an attempt will be made to screw down service providers (polytechs) - will this result in less quality for our trainees?  Only time will tell.  TEC have screwed the ITO down to ensure taxpayers money is being properly spend and managed, industry needs to ensure its contribution is also spend well, and the appropriate outcomes are delivered.

Offline Enn

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My experience at block courses was it seemed the training providers were more geared to pretrade bums on seats than the ito and other guys that i was there with. however it seemed that also the tutors were having trouble with time frames for resources and fitting the required learning in the time allowed. there is a lot to cover and different learning styles of the class influence the amount of time that is allowed. You have to be motivated. Time in receiving distance learning was a pain  average of 4-5 weeks double if you get a re sit!

I still don't really understand what the function  is of the ito? is there nothing that a employer couldn't do seems the key stakeholders are the apprentice and the employer. seems that if you have that right then you cant go wrong..... perhaps the industry/employers should have some of that 56million  to boost staff training..... yeah right.
 
My 2cents worth anyway...... Are you competent??????

 
''Never have so many been fooled by so few''
Plumbing is not a career it is a disease....

Offline Tuxy

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I traveled 2 1/2 hours to block course yesterday only to be told the course i got told was on this date had been canceled and the ITO should have told me. i have had such a horrible time with the ITO if i had known this before i had started my apprenticeship i would never  have started. i have been screwed around every step of the way.

Offline Jaxcat

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Tuxy - did you have costs to outlay, petrol, travel etc?  If so, and you have the letter from the ITO telling you about the course, then I would sent them a bill for your time off work and your travel costs.  It isn't good enough.  Check with your employer through to make sure no message was given to them.  That said, I've also had the same thing happen to one of my apprentices who turned up to a course and wasn't informed it had been postponed.  If you want to PM me your details I can give you some other ideas of what is available to you.  Ideally your employer should be calling up the ITO on your behalf and letting them know how displeased he/she is.  It is a three way partnership between you, your employer and the ITO. 

Offline heatsol

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just out of interest jaxcat where do you send your apprentices, (region)

Offline Jaxcat

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Weltec - Wellington.


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