The Department for Education (DfE) has released guidance for employers and training providers on delivering apprenticeship programmes and how they should support apprentices during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
“This is a difficult time for apprentices, employers and providers of apprenticeship training, assessment and external assurance,” DfE stressed in an explanatory note. “The government is committed to supporting apprentices, and employers continue to build the skills capabilities the country needs now and in the future.”
“The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is responding by taking steps to ensure that, wherever possible, apprentices can continue and complete their apprenticeship, despite any break they need to take as a result of Covid-19, and to support providers during this challenging time.”
The support and guidance that DfE is providing includes:
- 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
- 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
- Clarification on how to record breaks in learning so that funding is not unnecessarily disrupted
- Confirming that, where apprentices are made redundant, it is DfE’s ambition to find them alternative employment and continue their apprenticeship as quickly as possible and within 12 weeks
DfE is operating a dedicated coronavirus helpline. If you have a query about coronavirus (Covid-19), relating to schools and other educational establishments in England, contact the helpline: 0800 046 8687. Lines are open Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm and weekends 10am to 4pm.