What is safeguarding?
As an employer, you will be aware that we all share the duty of care for ensuring that our apprentices are safeguarded during their training at the MGTS Technical Centre and also within the workplace. This means that employers need to take the necessary steps to ensure their apprentices are safe at all times while in their care. This is not restricted to the workplace, but extends to any problems outside of work which may affect the apprentice. If a safeguarding issue is identified, it should be acted upon without delay. The law requires that you cannot ignore any activity or disclosure that highlights a safeguarding issue.
What is a safeguarding issue?
Safeguarding applies to any kind of harm an apprentice may suffer. The main safeguarding issues are:
- Physical Abuse
- Sexual abuse / Exploitation
- Emotional / Psychological abuse
- Cyber Bullying
- Suicidal Thoughts
What are typical signs that an apprentice may be suffering?
There are many signs that may be indicators that an apprentice may be experiencing a safeguarding issue. However, if a learner demonstrates more than one indicator, it in itself, is not evidence that an apprentice may be at risk, but a concern should be raised if any employer believes there is any potential situation.
- Acting withdrawn or become uncommunicative
- Showing a wariness or distrust of adults
- Difficulty concentrating at work
- A reluctance to go home
- Low self esteem
- An inconsistent explanation of injuries
- Regular or recurring injuries
- Suicidal feelings / attempted suicide
How to report a safeguarding concern?
MGTS has a ‘Designated Safeguarding Lead’ who has overall responsibility for the safeguarding of our apprentices. The ‘Lead’ decides on the appropriate action required when either an apprentice seeks help, or a member of staff or employer raises a concern regarding an apprentice.
MGTS work in conjunction with other agencies to ensure adequate arrangements are in place to identify, assess and support any apprentice who is suffering from, or at risk of, any potential harm.
What if an apprentice discloses a personal safeguarding concern?
Report a disclosure in exactly the same way as any other safeguarding concern. It is required by Law that if a disclosure is made, it cannot be ignored and must be reported with immediate effect.
- Listen non-judgementally
- Ask open-ended questions to seek enough detail to make a referral to the Safeguarding team
- Do not offer personal opinion or offer any advice
- Never promise confidentiality – Explain that you are duty bound to refer the situation to the ‘Designated Safeguarding Lead’
- Reassure the apprentice but do not make any physical contact
- Make every effort to have the conversation in a place where another colleague knows your location
- Inform the Safeguarding team immediately and don’t share the information with anybody else
- Record the information shared, ensuring that you have an accurate account of the concern
As part of the apprentice learning journey, we also encourage critical thinking skills. By discussing challenging topics in a supportive environment, it helps our apprentices to understand and safeguard themselves from harm or the potential of being drawn into extremism. The ‘Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015’ introduced the ‘Prevent Duty’ as an attempt to prevent young people or vulnerable adults from becoming radicalised. We know that young people and vulnerable adults are often targets and are especially susceptible to online radicalisation.