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Managing Student Retention in Vocational Education and Apprenticeships in the New Normal.

Introduction to Vocational Education Management

Vocational Education and Apprenticeships Management has become more complex in the new normal. The key considerations remain student wellbeing and student progression. But there are new tools and rules in the mix. Remote classes, public health guidelines, social distancing and contact tracing all impact.

Whether managing traditional or modern apprenticeships in a clinical, regulated or office environment these factors all impact on the delivery and efficacy of teaching and learning. Drop-out rates are rising in many countries. Student Wellbeing and reaching out in time are an ever more critical focus of every educator.

In this post we will consider the needs of Students, Leadership and both Teaching and Student Advisory Support teams.

Doing More with Less

Staffing issues, and large caseloads means doing even more with less resources. Without the right tools this can overwhelm the most efficient of teams.  This can lead to more missed critical early intervention opportunities. In turn to a cycle of further student retention and student wellbeing cases.

How to address the needs of key stakeholders

What Leadership, Teachers, and Advisors need to navigate the new normal

  • Actionable data insights in their inbox every day. Guidance on which student need their help. Who to make those critical interventions with before it’s too late?
  • Visibility of student place, attendance, and absences. Whether online, in class or in the workplace.
  • Case Management tools to open cases and keep, track of student progress and wellbeing.
  • Communication tools to reach out to at-risk and struggling students who may not ask for help.
  • Visibility of specific student cohorts. This is critical to meeting access to education and widening participation objectives.
  • Track adherence to WTD, Health and Safety, and other employment laws.
  • Ability to record C19 health status, action close contact tracing reports, and student/staff comms.

Students need easy to use tools to help them

  • Keep track of their progress. See their grades and assignment scores in one place.
  • Reach out and ask for help. Open a case or ask a question.
  • Record their hours of attendance. See if they are on-track to complete required hours.
  • See an up-to date timetable of all activities
  • Attend class online or in-person
  • Self -declare or request absences
  • View the status of their absences and approvals
Vocational Education examples

The role of EdTech

Technology has enabled the move to remote teaching. Tools such as Microsoft Teams for Education and Zoom sit alongside classroom learning.

But EdTech can play a far greater role in solving issues faced by leadership, staff, and students.

This includes;

  • Easy to use, secure mobile apps and cloud software to manage student attendance and absence.
  • Hybrid Timetabling tools that show all teaching and work-place events in one place.
  • Early alerts triggered by learner analytics and attendance data. Help staff to identify and reach out to at-risk students.
  • Case management and Compliance Management tools and dashboards. Tools needed to keep track of open issues and drive better outcomes.


Doing more with less challenges educators to find new ways of using edtech and data science. These new ways free up invaluable time for teaching and reaching out to students who need help.

Key Takeaways

  • Cloud and mobile app solutions can be set-up to make the most of data already present in college systems.
  • Data capture solutions can automate paper data capture and data entry.
  • Invaluable student-facing advising, and teaching time will be freed up.
  • Managing Vocational Education, Education and Work Placements becomes a data-driven process.
  • Earlier interventions and more student-facing time will lead to better student outcomes.