Enhancing Apprenticeships with the 5 Moments of Need Model

Enhancing Apprenticeships with the 5 Moments of Need Model

As we all know, apprenticeships are vital ways for individuals to learn on the job and develop practical skills while earning a wage. To ensure effective learning, it is essential to understand and cater to the needs of apprentices at various stages of their programme. They need to be well-supported, have access to appropriate resources, and feel motivated throughout the duration of their studies.

Many instructional design models can be used to design and develop apprenticeship programmes, but in this article, we will explore the 5 Moments of Need model, created by Bob Mosher and Conrad Gottfredson, and how it can be applied to apprenticeships to boost learning outcomes.

The 5 Moments of Need Model

The 5 Moments of Need is a learning model that focuses on the moments when learners require support or guidance. It consists of five different stages:

  • Learning for the first time (New)
  • Learning more (More)
  • Applying what they’ve learned (Apply)
  • Solving problems (Solve)
  • Adapting to change (Change)

For anyone involved with the design and development of apprenticeship programmes, it is worth considering these moments of need as they can help to determine the most effective way of delivering training and resources.

Using the 5 Moments of Need Model for Apprenticeships

By categorising apprenticeship content into these five moments, it becomes easier to identify what areas must be addressed for apprentices to gain the skills and knowledge needed in their role. When trainers design an apprenticeship curriculum, incorporating the 5 Moments of Need model can significantly enhance the learning experience for apprentices.

Here’s how trainers can apply the model during the curriculum design process:

  1. New: Identify the core skills and knowledge apprentices need to acquire in their chosen field. Develop learning materials that address these foundational topics, such as interactive e-learning modules, webinars, or in-person workshops. Ensure the content is engaging, easy to understand, and relevant to real-world scenarios.
  2. More: Offer opportunities for apprentices to deepen their knowledge and skills in specialised areas. This could include advanced courses, workshops, or access to expert resources. Encourage apprentices to explore these additional learning opportunities based on their interests and goals.
  3. Apply: Design practical activities, projects, or simulations that enable apprentices to apply their newfound knowledge and skills in a controlled environment. Pair apprentices with experienced professionals who can guide and support them as they work through these hands-on tasks, offering feedback and constructive criticism.
  4. Solve: Incorporate problem-solving and critical thinking exercises into the curriculum. These activities should challenge apprentices to tackle real-world issues they may encounter in their roles. Encourage apprentices to analyse situations, think creatively, and collaborate with others to develop effective solutions.
  5. Change: Regularly update the curriculum to reflect industry changes, emerging technologies, and new best practices. Provide apprentices access to the latest information and resources to help them stay informed and adapt to evolving expectations. Additionally, soft skills training, such as adaptability and resilience, should be incorporated to help apprentices cope with change.

Trainers need to carefully consider each of the 5 Moments of Need throughout the curriculum design process. This will enable them to create an apprenticeship programme that effectively supports apprentices in their learning. This comprehensive approach will help apprentices build a strong foundation of knowledge and skills, setting them up for success in their chosen careers.

Here are some examples of the types of activities that could be used at each moment in 5 different apprenticeship programmes:

Marketing Assistant Apprenticeship

  1. New: Marketing apprentices must learn the basics of market research, social media management, and content creation. Instructors can facilitate this learning through interactive e-learning modules, webinars, or in-person workshops.
  2. More: As apprentices progress, they may want to expand their skills in specific areas such as search engine optimisation (SEO) or email marketing. Offering resources and guidance tailored to these areas will help them become more proficient.
  3. Apply: When marketing apprentices begin to apply their skills in real-life projects, they may require ongoing support and feedback from mentors to hone their abilities.
  4. Solve: Encountering marketing challenges such as low engagement rates, apprentices must learn to analyse data and develop creative solutions to address the issue.
  5. Change: As marketing techniques and trends evolve, marketing apprentices must adapt to remain relevant. Regular updates on industry changes and new tools can help them stay ahead.

Network Cable Installer Apprenticeship

  1. New: Apprentices will need hands-on training to familiarise themselves with various cable types, installation techniques, and safety protocols.
  2. More: As they gain experience, apprentices might seek advanced knowledge on specialised installations or network configurations. Providing resources to deepen their understanding is key.
  3. Apply: When installing cables in real-life settings, apprentices will benefit from the guidance and supervision of experienced technicians.
  4. Solve: Apprentices may encounter unexpected challenges like limited access points or complex cable routing. In these situations, they must develop problem-solving skills to overcome obstacles.
  5. Change: As technology advances, network cable installers must keep up-to-date with new equipment and installation standards. Regular training sessions and industry updates can help them stay current.

Junior Estate Agent Apprenticeship

  1. New: Junior estate agents must learn the fundamentals of property valuation, negotiation, and legal requirements. Instructors should provide comprehensive training in these areas.
  2. More: To excel in their role, apprentices may want to look deeper into topics like property investment strategies, marketing, or customer service.
  3. Apply: Apprentices will gain valuable experience by conducting property viewings, interacting with clients, and preparing property listings under the supervision of senior agents.
  4. Solve: When faced with property disputes or challenging negotiations, junior estate agents must learn to resolve conflicts professionally and efficiently.
  5. Change: The property market is continually changing, and junior estate agents must stay informed about new regulations, market trends, and client expectations.

Advanced Furniture CNC Technician Apprenticeship

  1. New: Apprentices must learn how to operate and programme CNC machines, interpret design blueprints, and select appropriate materials.
  2. More: As they progress, apprentices may want to specialise in specific machine operations or advanced programming techniques. Offering specialised courses or workshops can help them develop these skills.
  3. Apply: Under the guidance of experienced technicians, apprentices will put their skills to the test by creating furniture pieces or components using CNC machines.
  4. Solve: Apprentices will inevitably face production challenges like equipment malfunctions or design issues. They must learn to troubleshoot and solve these problems to ensure smooth production.
  5. Change: As new technologies emerge in the furniture manufacturing industry, advanced CNC technicians must adapt by learning new techniques and software. Ongoing training and industry updates can help them remain competitive.

HR Support Apprenticeship

  1. New: HR support apprentices need to grasp the basics of recruitment, employee relations, and performance management. Combining e-learning, workshops, and on-the-job training can facilitate this learning.
  2. More: As they gain experience, apprentices may choose to specialise in areas such as talent development, diversity and inclusion, or employment law.
  3. Apply: Apprentices will benefit from working alongside experienced HR professionals, gaining practical experience in conducting interviews, managing employee disputes, and developing HR policies.
  4. Solve: HR support apprentices must learn to address complex workplace challenges, such as resolving conflicts or navigating sensitive personnel issues.
  5. Change: The field of HR is constantly evolving, with new regulations, workplace trends, and best practices emerging regularly. HR support apprentices must stay informed to adapt and succeed in their roles.


The 5 Moments of Need model provides a valuable framework for understanding and addressing the learning needs of apprentices across various programmes. By effectively catering to these moments, we can enhance the apprenticeship experience and help learners develop the skills they need for long-term success in their chosen careers.


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