Wyre Academy IT Apprenticeship Scheme
Derrin Kent, Managing Director of TDM, a Totara Platinum Partner, presented this case study at the 2011 Totara Annual Conference, showcasing how the use of Totara LMS has provided a launchpad for their own IT Apprenticeships training division, the TDM Wyre Academy.
Today’s workforce needs to be responsive enough to adapt and thrive in the knowledge economy in which we operate; skills shortages are a real issue. IT Apprenticeships afford employers the opportunities to grow and develop their staff with the skill-sets that they need now and in the future. For employees it enables them to ‘earn while they learn’.
For the mixture of on and off job learning that the Wyre Academy offers, TDM needed a platform that would provide an optimum environment for a structured and personalised learning experience. The core teaching principles of the Wyre Academy are that:
- Learning is just in time: learning what you need, when you need it;
- Work-based learning should be delivered by use of sensibly blended digital media and real-world environments.
The Totara LMS Solution
Totara ‘out of the box’ had most of the feature set to achieve the key requirements for the programme:
- Booking system for a range of delivery methods – classroom, online courses, webinars
- Competency-based learning
- Pathway programmes using Totara positions
- Structured reporting for assessors (as well as internal and external verifiers)
To further encourage learners to reflect on their learning, gather and showcase evidence, TDM’s own software developers wrote and incorporated additional features. This is where the open source nature of Totara has really come into its own. Firstly, single sign-on integration with the ePortfolio system Mahara allowed a much more rounded picture of e-learning. This provides a personalised portfolio that learners are able to continue in the workplace after completing their training with the Wyre Academy.
The dovetailing of Totara and Mahara functionality has enabled the Wyre Academy to offer a real advantage over its competitors; learning and assessment can be delivered and managed online, streamlining processes, meaning less site visits from assessors. The result: better quality education at less cost.
Since launching in January 2011, the Wyre Academy has:
- Been mentioned in the Houses of Parliament for their achievements
- Become the Linux Professional Institutes Master Affiliate for the UK and Ireland
- Engaged in excess of 30 organisations with their blended learning programmes
- Enrolled in excess of 50 Apprentices
The TDM Wyre Academy were really good at the recruitment/screening process and we ended up short listing two very good candidates and went on to offer one of them a job. Our apprentice is really great, so much so, that we are already fast tracking him and giving him responsibilities that we would normally give to a graduate after they’d been with us for at least 3 months. We will definitely be using the Apprenticeship scheme again in the future.
- Tony McDowell, Managing Director, Encryption IT Security
The course was a great experience; I have learnt a lot more than I thought I would.
- Martin Needs - Wyre Academy ICT Security Apprentice
Totara Partner Info
TDM OSS Services support, tailor and integrate Totara implementations. The TDM Wyre Academy delivers QCF Qualifications and Apprenticeships using our own extended version of Totara; expertise and functionality we are happy to share.
We are the Linux Professional Institute Master Affiliate for the UK and Ireland. We employ native English, Spanish and French speakers.