Government releases guidance on coronavirus and apprenticeships

Yesterday the Department for Education (DfE) set out guidance for apprenticeship training providers as a response to the coronavirus pandemic. The measures aim to help apprentices to continue and complete their apprenticeships.

Many apprentices will be working from home and engaging in distance learning, but many will also be facing breaks in their apprenticeships when the provision of on-the-job and off-the-job training is not available.

A break in an apprenticeship can now temporarily be instigated by the employer and provider as well as the learner. The DfE also suggest breaks as an option instead of putting apprentices on unpaid leave. The DfE aspires to find alternative employment within 12 weeks for apprentices who have been made redundant and training providers must help with this process.

The Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education (IfATE) recommends that providers follow the End-Point Assessment (EPA) plan where possible. Where this is not possible, they should consider extending the apprenticeship and reschedule the EPA. Some of the measures taken can also include using remote assessment or simulation instead of face-to-face assessment.

The TUC has produced comprehensive guidance for unions on the coronavirus pandemic. Apprentices are employees, the same as other staff in the workplace, so guidance on homeworking and other measures applies to them too.

Unionlearn is working on producing a briefing note to unions with more guidance on how coronavirus pandemic affects apprenticeships.