QA and the Association of Apprentices team up to create new learning communities

Partnership will provide the tools and support needed to unite apprentices from different businesses so they can learn and grow together.

QA and the Association of Apprentices (AoA) have announced a partnership aimed at empowering businesses to cultivate and nurture learning communities for their apprentices.

In a world where collaboration and shared knowledge are paramount, QA and AoA are spearheading efforts to unite apprentices from diverse businesses, enabling them to learn and grow together.

Learners on a QA apprenticeship programme will become part of a vibrant learning community, benefitting from shared knowledge, experience and networking. AoA will provide membership services including:

  • AoA Connect, a bespoke virtual networking platform connecting apprenticeships across the country on the same programme.
  • AoA Learn which offers access to courses, articles and videos to support development across a broad spectrum of industries.
  • AoA Events put on in collaboration with partners.

With more than £3.3 billion in unspent apprenticeship levy funds returned to the Treasury between 2019 and 2022, QA and AoA believe that whilst many businesses recognise the value of apprenticeships, there is far more that could be done to promote the benefits of workplace learning.

QA has an unrivalled heritage in tech talent and training, providing a comprehensive suite of talent and training services enabling individuals and companies to have success in the digital revolution. QA has worked with 96 of the current FTSE 100 and supported over 528,000 learners in technical and digital skills in 2022/23. It has recently announced apprenticeships with organisations including Sellafield Ltd and Cognizant.

AoA has established an Advisory Panel that will play a key role in the development of the community platform. Jo Bishenden, Managing Director of Apprenticeships, has been appointed to the panel and will bring significant experience from her work with local, national and international education systems and organisations to the role.

Jo Bishenden, Managing Director for Apprenticeships at QA, said: “We are really excited to be working with AoA on this drive to create and embed a learning culture in more UK businesses. We share a belief in the value of apprenticeships, witnessing first hand at QA every day the benefits that such programmes can bring to organisations as they look to develop a team with the skills required for the future.

“There is no question that it will help empower apprentices to be able to access the innovative learning community that AoA has created, and allow businesses to keep up with the pace of change. Given that 90 percent of apprentices remain with the same employer after completing an apprenticeship, it also offers a potential route to overcoming the digital skills gap that so many businesses face.”

Emily Rock, CEO at Association of Apprentices said, “We have identified three key elements to helping apprentices succeed - support network, professional development, and career awareness. Our collaboration with QA will help us to reach an ever-increasing number of apprentices through our platform. I look forward to seeing the supportive community of a highly driven group of apprentices develop and grow and am certain this partnership with QA will help us to achieve this”.

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