In-company mentors/trainers/supervisors are directly responsible for interacting with apprentices, imparting practical training, and introducing them into the work during the on-the-job part of the training.
Their main roles and responsibilities are to:
- Ensure that the apprentices work and learn in the occupation as specified in the contract;
- Plan, organize and implement the Quality Apprenticeship training in the enterprise;
- Monitor, assess and record the progress of the apprentices’ skills acquisition;
- As the focal point for the Quality Apprenticeship programme, coordinate with other sections and workers in the enterprise, as well as with external partners involved in the training process (e.g. TVET institution, public authorities for education and employment);
- Prevent and resolve conflicts by mutual agreement, and if this is not possible, follow the predetermined conflict settlement procedures (e.g. in-company staff regulations, collective agreements, Labour Code).
- Provide special care for apprentices with learning difficulties, disabilities and other limitations;
- Ensure safety and security at work for apprentices.
An example of the suggested role of in-company mentors/ trainers/ supervisors from Tunisia is given in box 22.
Box 4: Role of in-company mentors/trainers/supervisors
How to organize in-company training – Practical information sheet
The first day is very important for integrating the apprentices successfully. It is a matter of getting to know them, ascertaining what they have learned previously, and asking them what they already know about the company and its processes so as to adapt any explanations to their appropriate level of knowledge; it also involves showing them the company and introducing them to colleagues, presenting the workstation, work expectations and the general working conditions.
Training the skills related to the established training agreement path and the position to be assigned to the apprentices. Raise awareness of regulatory and safety issues. Raise awareness of the values associated with the profession and behaviour in the workplace. Train the apprentices in the use of company software.
Appreciate the work carried out; the apprentices need to know if what they are doing corresponds to what is expected. For this, it is necessary to assess positively what is done well by the apprentices and to encourage them - whilst making them aware of any shortcomings. Advise the apprentices on behaviour. If difficulties arise, it is necessary to discuss them immediately and understand the causes.
Conduct regular follow-up discussions to go over with the apprentices what needs to be done on a weekly basis. Ensure that the tasks are related to the established training plan, take stock of the skills acquired, deal with possible behavioural problems, and deal with potential problems of skills acquisition. Develop the tools required to carry out the training plan. Communicate regularly with the TVET institution (via the apprentice's manual and the mentors/trainers/supervisor’s manual).
Propose a form of evaluation progressively, based on the guide to assessing professional behaviour.
Define with the apprentices the behaviour that will be evaluated and ask them to undertake a self-assessment, then compare and explain the results. Make an assessment at the end and compile the evaluation documents. Assess the achievements in the light of objectives initially set. Comment on the results obtained by the apprentices. Participate in assessments with the TVET institution (European Training Foundation (ETF) and Tunisian Ministry of Vocational Training and Employment, 2017).