One of the biggest issues the industry has been facing in relation to apprentice employment is helping them to overcome barriers in their classroom learning.
The MTA is on a mission to help these apprentices from the very beginning, identifying those who need further assistance early.
Essential to this, is our Student Support Officer, Mel Clark, who has a passion for helping young people achieve their goals and helping apprentices with our new Natural Reader program.
Mel said, “As part of my role as Student Support Officer, I have become aware that 15 per cent of current apprentices who are in the initial eight week program are identifying as having learning barriers.”
“To assist our apprentices, we have put in place the Natural Reader program on our computers at the Royal Park Training and Employment Centre as a trial, to see how apprentices are finding the program in assisting them with their learning and processing of information”, Mel said.
Natural Reader is a text-to-speech program that reads documents aloud to an apprentice and is an essential tool for those with dyslexia and other reading difficulties.
We currently have apprentices with auditory processing disorders such as dyslexia and English as second language (ESL) barriers and are using the program for assessments.
Mel said, “So far, feedback has been positive and the apprentices feel that they are doing a lot better with their assessments than they would have done, if they had to read the text themselves, as they struggle with comprehending written text.”
“We are also looking into other LLN assessment tools that will assist both GTO apprentices and those apprentices who attend the MTA for training that experience difficulties with the theory component of their apprenticeship”, Mel said.
If you have an apprentice who would benefit from learning assistance, click here to contact Mel.