Apprenticeships & Covid-19
Sentient Group Ltd
Info Update 2020/17                                                         Issue Date: 07/04/2020
Apprenticeships & COVID-19
The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is implementing new measures for the duration of the pandemic. The aims being, to make it easier for apprenticeships to continue and complete in a different way if they need to, or to break and resume an apprenticeship later when that becomes possible. For the full document follow this link.

They have provided new guidance on temporary flexibilities being introduced to the programme during the pandemic which needs to be read in conjunction with the government’s COVID-19 guidance and support for businesses.

Specifically, the key points are:
  • introducing flexibilities to allow furloughed apprentices to continue their training, as long as it does not provide services to, or generate revenue for, their employer
  • encouraging training 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 in order to maintain progress and achievement for apprentices
  • 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 4 weeks
  • clarification on how to record breaks in learning so that funding is not unnecessarily disrupted
  • confirming that, where apprentices are made redundant, it is their ambition to find them alternative employment and continue their apprenticeship as quickly as possible and within 12 weeks
It is not the most exciting read of the year, but it does provide some valuable guidance for those of you with formal apprenticeships in place. In particular there is a very useful Q&A section that deals with; Apprentices still working, on Furlough, on unpaid leave, made redundant, working at home; the apprenticeship levy; and queries you might be posed by your apprentice. All good stuff. 
The advice and comment in this update is not meant to be an authoritative statement of the law. The articles and summaries should not be applied to any specific set of facts and circumstances without seeking further advice. Whilst every care is taken to ensure that the content is correct Sentient cannot accept responsibility for the accuracy of statements made nor the result of any actions taken by individuals after reading such.
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