Bud Systems, the next-generation online apprenticeship management system, has announced that it will offer a new remote enrolment solution to training providers in response to the unprecedented circumstances created by the threat of Covid-19.

The new product has been developed by Bud as a standalone module to ease the temporary pressure on businesses that rely on learner recruitment to secure continued funding. As businesses come under increased pressure to ask staff to self-isolate, the platform – which can handle an infinite number of enrolments – will allow apprentices, trainers and admin staff to complete each stage of enrolment online.

Bud Systems’ founder Heather Frankham said: “During the current crisis, the potential for disruption to apprenticeship enrolments and the associated impact on training providers’ businesses is significant. A drop off in learner numbers is likely to have repercussions on cashflow and business performance for training providers for many months.”

Bud Systems, which already serves a number of leading training providers including Paragon Skills, Total Training, QA Apprenticeships, Capita and People Plus, was developed specifically for the cloud, to standardise apprenticeship delivery for remote trainers and learners.

“When I was building an apprenticeship business, I always dreaded seeing a weather forecast for snow,” Frankham explained. “Snow meant that we were unable to progress training for our learners and that there would be an impact on learner recruitment. In building Bud, I wanted to create a fully cloud-based solution that removed the reliance on “learner visits” and was designed with the future in mind.”

Frankham continued: “At Bud, we are fully mobilised to support training providers during the Coronavirus outbreak.  We are offering our apprenticeship enrolment module as a stand-alone solution to enable businesses to continue onboarding apprentices remotely. Our team is available to offer unlimited training and support so that providers can quickly get up and running on the system, minimising disruption during this challenging period.”

Using the Bud enrolment module, learners can “self-serve” their enrolment – completing their vital registration data and all required signatures.  Learners can also complete their BKSB initial assessments in Maths and English remotely.

Through programme content and signposting, the system integrates with Skype, Microsoft Teams or any other web chat service.  Learners can then participate in webinars or virtual classrooms and also complete web-based progress reviews.  Training Providers can create their bespoke learner journeys using rich multi-media content, other digital learning and many other activity types, or use those already created in Bud.

Mark Dawe, Chief Executive of the AELP, warned that the government should take steps to protect funding for further education and skills providers, to ensure they survive “what is likely to be a period of falling attendance and falling recruitment”.

Enrolment is just one component Bud’s platform, a joined-up, end to end system for the delivery of apprenticeships https://bud.co.uk/.

Geraint Evans