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How The Open University supports employers

The OU support to the employers

It is easier than you think to employ or train an apprentice and The Open University (OU) provides employers with a range of supporting information and material to make the process as smooth as possible.

Our delivery team is available and responsive face-to-face, or by email and phone.

Our dedicated apprenticeship team will support you and your apprentices, providing:

  • A dedicated Account Manager to advise on and discuss your strategic and operational needs.
  • An Apprenticeship Programme Delivery Manager to support you throughout your apprentice's programme(s).
  • Highly-qualified academic staff, with current relevant industry experience.
  • Regular contact through meetings with practice tutors, your Account Manager and your Apprenticeship Programme Delivery Manager.
  • Information sessions for apprentice line managers and free online learning for mentors to develop the skills they need to support apprentices effectively.
  • Flexible learning delivered around the demands of the apprentice and the organisation.
  • A high-quality work-based learning approach that embeds learning into the workplace.
  • Advice on apprenticeships and funding; we understand that getting to grips with apprenticeships and the Levy isn’t straightforward and our team can help with any questions or uncertainties.


The Open University will assign a strategic Account Manager who will work with you to scope the best apprenticeship solutions to meet your organisation’s needs. They will look at where you can maximise government funding against the skills development identified and will explore other learning solutions outside of apprenticeships as required. The Open University works with a number of strategic partners, so can signpost to other apprenticeship provision across a range of sectors and subject areas.

We will work with you to review your organisation’s strategic apprenticeship needs and develop a plan of action to enable you to upskill staff or recruit new talent.

Internal recruits

We can support you to attract internal recruits through a range of activities. Depending on numbers and locations, we can arrange drop-in sessions, roadshows and webinars to ensure that managers and prospective learners are well informed about all aspects of the programme.

External recruitment

We will work with you to identify your recruitment needs and can offer a range of recruitment solutions. If you are considering external recruitment, we recommend allowing at least 12 weeks to ensure you attract and select the best candidates for the roles. In addition, we advertise your apprenticeships vacancies on RecruitAnApprentice.

Learner registration

Learners will be invited to formally apply for their apprenticeship through a secure online portal. They will be sent individual log-in details to complete an initial assessment of their English and maths for apprenticeships in England. If required, they will have access to additional learning diagnostics and resources. We will also carry out a number of checks and activities to ensure that individuals are on the right programme of learning and that they are eligible for government funding. These include:

  • Information, advice and guidance sessions for learners
  • Understanding job roles and suitability to the apprenticeship
  • Checking prior qualifications and certificates, including English and maths

Functional skills initial assessment

The initial assessment is a mandatory requirement for all apprentices in England, prior to the start of the programme, to identify current working levels in both English and maths. If your apprentice's working level is below Level 2 then the OU provides additional support with dedicated functional skills tutors to increase working levels to the standard required.

Ongoing operational support

Your Apprenticeship Programme Delivery Manager (APDM) will be your single point of contact for all operational support throughout the programme. They will monitor and share academic progress across programmes. If there are any areas of concern, the APDM will coordinate with all relevant colleagues to plan and action a remedial strategy at the earliest opportunity, highlighting good practice and areas for improvement. The APDM also collates management information monthly and will be in regular contact with employers, reporting any areas of concern.


As with most things, it is best to allow sufficient planning time before starting new apprenticeship programmes. The process can take many months for some employers, while others will already have a firm idea of what they want and will be ready to proceed faster. We will always work with you and adapt to your deadlines wherever possible.


An apprenticeship requires at least 20% of an apprentice’s working time to be allocated for off-the-job training / protected time in the workplace to engage in the learning. The Open University’s tutor-supported online learning gives the employer and the apprentice the flexibility to pick the most suitable times around organisational and personal needs – minimising the impact on day-to-day productivity.

Travel costs and expenses are also minimised, as most apprentices don’t have to attend day or block release sessions.

At present the face-to-face days on the programme are being delivered via online meeting rooms. It is a compulsory requirement for learners to attend these days. The Open University is currently reviewing the safe delivery of on-campus face-to-face days and the programme team will be guided by the university and the Statutory Health Profession Regulators in reviewing online and on-campus delivery. Employers and learners will be advised in advance of any changes to the delivery pattern.

Online delivery is both varied and interactive, using rich media formats that engage and enthuse apprentices on their journey. Learning can be accessed 24/7 on computers, tablets and mobile devices. Online forums and tutorials as well as email and telephone communication are used to support apprentices throughout the programme.

Find out more about how The Open University supports apprentices and employers by clicking the buttons below.

Education & Skills Funding Agency European Union - European Social Fund Apprenticeships

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