We are continually monitoring the current disruptions due to COVID-19 and we are facing challenging times in the Education and Training Sector in NI, says Colin Hagan, Managing Director.
‘We know that many bodyshops have had to furlough their apprentices since the end of March; however, the Riverpark Training Team have been working form home with the aim of ensuring a consistent approach to training by engaging with our Apprentices through a distance learning model. To date, we have engaged with 98% of our learners using a series of activities, assessments, and assignments through the Google Classroom platform.
Despite there being a lack of suitable learning material available for the Vehicle Accident Repair sector, the Riverpark Training Team is generating relevant material so Apprentices can progress with as little delay to their original training timeline as possible.
Moving forward and where able, we will soon start conducting Personal Training Plan reviews with Apprentices and Employers through video conferencing as some start to ease back in to the workplace. Now, more than ever, the requirement of Job Card collection will be critical to any Competence progression and we will be adapting to assessing Apprentice competence remotely, using available technologies, under the guidance of the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI).
Our recruitment drive for the 2020 intake continues remotely and since January 2020, we have conducted just over 50 interviews with almost a fifth of those applicants already securing employment with a local bodyshop – even during these disruptive times. We still have a range of applicants who continue their job search and we are still interested in hearing from any employers who wish to benefit from taking on an apprentice. For more information, our Training Team will be available via our usual contact details.
Riverpark Training will only resume face-to-face training when advised to do so by the Department for the Economy (DfE) and our ATA training and assessment schedule will resume when we have audited our facilities against relevant safe social distancing procedures.
On behalf of the Riverpark Training Team, I would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding during this period. We wish you all the best of health.’