Taking on an apprentice is a fantastic way to grow your business. Here at The Real Apprenticeship Company, we provide practical support and guidance to ensure you get the right apprentice for your business.
We know that every business is different which is why our apprenticeship and training programmes avoid the one size fits all approach. We will work closely with you to make sure that your trainee or apprentice will make a positive impact on your business.
Employer Complaints Policy (apprenticeships)
This policy informs employers of apprentices that are engaged with The Real Apprenticeship Company of the process to follow in order to make a complaint about the service provided by The Real Apprenticeship Company.
Complaints will be treated seriously and employers will not suffer any disadvantage or recrimination as a result of making a complaint in good faith. However, it is expected that employers will conduct themselves responsibly and treat the process and those members of The Real Apprenticeship Company involved in the process with respect at all times. A copy of this policy is made available with the employer apprenticeship agreement and is published at https://www.therealapprenticeship.com.
The Real Apprenticeship Company has a separate complaints policy for apprentices, which is published under support on the web site at https://www.therealapprenticeship.com
After the internal The Real Apprenticeship Company processes have been exhausted, complainants have the opportunity to have their raise their complaint with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) if they are not satisfied with The Real Apprenticeship Company’s response. All complaints are reported to the Management Meeting and to the Board and will be reviewed. Complaints data will be used to support continuous quality improvement through the self assessment process. An annual You Said We Did will be published on The Real Apprenticeship Company’s website and will be a standing agenda item on quarterly employer review meetings.
For the purposes of this policy an employer complaint is "an expression of dissatisfaction by one or more employers about The Real Apprenticeship Company’s action or lack of action, or about the service provided by The Real Apprenticeship Company.”
An employer may provide feedback which will be useful to The Real Apprenticeship Company when reviewing its policies and operations, without invoking this policy. Employers are encouraged to provide feedback to their dedicated account manager or to the apprenticeship coach in a prompt and constructive manner.
How to Make an Employer Complaint
There are three levels to The Real Apprenticeship Company’s complaints procedure:
Level 1: Informal resolution
Level 2: Formal complaint
Level 3: Escalation review
The Real Apprenticeship Company will record and monitor complaints in order to improve our apprenticeship programmes and to assist in identifying problems and trends across The Real Apprenticeship Company’s. Records will feed into the monitoring and evaluation procedure at Board and Management Meetings.
Stage 1: Informal Complaints
The Real Apprenticeship Company hopes that the majority of complaints can be resolved in this manner. Complaints should be raised immediately with the account manager, or with the apprenticeship coach. The Account Manager will work with the employer to try to resolve the issue directly and informally at the earliest opportunity. The employer will receive a written acknowledgement of their complaint within two working days and The Real Apprenticeship Company aims to resolve the issue and provide a written response within four working weeks.
Stage 2: Formal Complaint
If an employer is unable to resolve their complaint informally, or they are unhappy with the response, they should raise the matter in writing by emailing the Quality Manager Stephen Brookes at email@example.com.
The email should be titled as ‘formal complaint’ and should set out clearly the details of the complaint in full; the action that has been taken to resolve the matter informally, and the resolution sought by the employer. The formal complaint must be raised within two months of receiving written response to Stage 1.
Receipt of the complaint will be acknowledged within five working days and the Quality Manager will investigate the complaint.
In investigating the complaint the Quality Manager will review the information submitted by the employer and will meet with relevant members of The Real Apprenticeship Company staff to discuss. The Quality Manager may also meet with the employer complainant and/or apprentices to clarify facts or question further.
A written response will be issued by the Quality Manager within four weeks of the date of the formal complaint where possible. If this is not possible, revised timescales for resolution will be provided in writing to the employer complainant.
Stage 3: Escalation review
If an employer is not satisfied with the response provided at Stage 2, they can escalate their complaint in writing to the Chief Executive Debbie Shandley at firstname.lastname@example.org. The email should be titled ‘Stage 3 complaint’. The Stage 3 complaint must be received within one month of the employer receiving written response to Stage 2.
Unless new evidence is presented, the Chief Executive will not re- investigate the complaint, but will check that appropriate procedures have been followed and that the decision made at Stage 2 was reasonable.
If new evidence is presented, the Chief Executive will consider it in making a decision, and may undertake further investigation.
A written response will be issued by the Chief Executive within four weeks of the date of the formal complaint where possible. If this is not possible, revised timescales for resolution will be provided in writing to the employer complainant.
After the internal processes adopted by The Real Apprenticeship Company have been exhausted, complainants have the opportunity to have their raise their complaint with the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) if they are not satisfied with The Real Apprenticeship Company’s response. The employer must contact the ESFA within 12 months after the issue happened.
Email or post your complaint to the ESFA complaints team.
ESFA complaints team
Education and Skills Funding Agency Cheylesmore House
The ESFA will reply to let you know what will happen next.
If you’re unhappy with the ESFA response
You can contact the Department for Education if you’re unhappy with how the ESFA has dealt with your complaint.
Roles and Responsibilities
The CEO has overall responsibility for managing relationships with employers
- Review the Employer Engagement Strategy effectiveness annually as part of the whole organisation Self-Assessment Process and ensure all staff have access to this document.
- Ensure the adherence to the policy by all employees.
The Operations Manager is responsible for ensuring that the trainers and the apprentice coaches liaise with employers effectively, feedback is gathered and issues are resolved appropriately in order to improve services.
Learner Services Manager
The Learner Services Manager is responsible for reviewing the effectiveness of the marketing and communication strategy providing bi monthly reports to the Board. The report will also include trend analysis from survey monkey stakeholder surveys
All initial enquiries from employers and learners are responded to by a Learner Services Advisor. Free organisational training needs analysis is available for new, previous and current employers to identify training needs. The Real Apprenticeship Company also offers a free recruitment service to market employer vacancies, short list applicants and assist with interviews if required.
Staff from this team are available to run joint marketing campaigns and events with employers and professional membership organisations to promote the sector and workplace opportunities to meet sector skill gaps. Learner Services Advisors work alongside trainers and apprentice coaches to integrate the Making Success Happen Strategy that provides employers and apprentices with ongoing information, advice and guidance on further learning opportunities, where appropriate identify alternative employment opportunities, employability skills and access to a wider learning programme.
Apprentice Coaches are responsible for involving employers (or their representatives) in progress reviews and maintaining good working relationships with learner workplace mentors/ buddies. Each individual is required to act in accordance with The Real Apprenticeship Company employer engagement process. Failure to do so may be considered as an act of misconduct and may result in disciplinary action. All line managers, mentors/ buddies and apprentices will receive an apprenticeship guide which details their respective responsibilities and those of the apprentice coaches and these are fully explained to the mentor/buddy, line manager and coach as part of the onboarding process.
Impact and Reporting Officer
The Impact and Reporting Officer monitors and provide monthly reports to the Board and management team on Employer Engagement data including:
- retention of existing employers in training
- engagement of new employers
- employer satisfaction relating to training and services provided
- employer engagement in session/reviews
- trainer and apprenticeship caseload monitoring
- monthly apprentice performance reports to employers.
The account manager’s function is to act as the main contact person for the employer. Responsibilities include:
- The development and maintenance of strong and trustworthy relationships with employers.
- Ensuring the compliance of the employers' needs and wishes as well as of their time schedule.
- Managing employer complaints.
- Analysis and identification of upcoming needs and opportunities.
- Attendance of meetings with employers and the presentation of current offer.