Apprenticeship programme information (should furlough take place)
The government have outlined some temporary flexibility around apprenticeship training during the pandemic to ensure apprentices can be kept on programme and what the alternatives are if this is not possible.
The Education and Skills Funding Agency have stipulated the following:
- they are encouraging providers to deliver training to apprentices remotely and via e-learning as far as is practicable.
- allowing the modification of end-point assessment arrangements, including remote assessments wherever practicable and possible.
- clarifying that apprentices ready for assessment, but who cannot be assessed due to COVID-19 issues, can have their end-point assessment rescheduled. Apprentices whose gateway is delayed can have an extension to the assessment timeframe.
- enabling employers and training providers to report and initiate a break in learning where the interruption to learning due to COVID-19 is greater than four weeks.
These measures will apply until further notice.
Disruption to employment
If an apprentice is furloughed and they can study and access their training via an e-learning programme/remote learning, their apprenticeship should continue where possible and the completion date will remain the same.
If the nature of their employment changes and no longer supports the apprenticeship, the apprentice, employer and training provider should consider whether a break in learning would be appropriate.
Breaks in learning
Apprenticeship funding rules already make provision for disruption in learning:
The use of distance-learning tools is encouraged wherever possible.
- less than 4 weeks – in these circumstances neither the employer nor the training provider needs to report the interruption, the end-date for the apprenticeship remains the same
- more than 4 weeks – in these circumstances, employers and/or training providers must report a formal BIL. Apprenticeship levy payments to providers will be paused during this period.
Funding rules currently state that a BIL must be initiated by the apprentice. Employers and training providers can now (temporarily) also report and initiate this where the interruption is greater than 4 weeks.
During BIL, it is not necessary for apprentices to comply with the minimum 20% off-the-job training requirement. When the BIL ends and training resumes, the 20% will apply over the remaining amended duration of the apprenticeship.
If I need to self-isolate, what will happen to my apprenticeship?
If you need to self-isolate, please speak to your line manager about the best way to continue with your apprenticeship or report a BIL.
- an increase in e-learning
- a short pause of less than 4 weeks in your apprenticeship while you are in self- isolation. This will not affect the planned end-date of your apprenticeship
- a formal BIL of more than 4 weeks – please advise your line manager/training provider as this will result in the planned end-date for your apprenticeship being extended
- re-scheduling planned assessment activity for a later date
The appropriate steps will be agreed based on your individual circumstances.
I need to take care of myself / a family member. Can I continue my apprenticeship learning at home?
Yes, this may be possible depending on the apprenticeship and whether e-learning/remote learning is available from your training provider. Please speak to your provider to discuss.
The government is providing a range of support to employers to help them retain and pay the wages of employees (including apprentices) during the coming months. Please read the COVID-19 FAQ’s that were recently sent out.
Full information on COVID-19 guidance for apprenticeships can be found on the GOV.UK website: