Guidance for apprenticeships, employers, and training providers during the Covid-19 outbreak issued by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

The ESFA is trying to support apprentices and make sure that they can continue and complete their apprenticeships, despite any break they need to take as a result of Covid-19. It has issued guidance for apprentices, employers, training providers, end-point assessment organisations and external quality assurance providers.

The support includes:

  • allowing 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 remotely, and via e-learning, where practicable
  • allowing remote end-point assessment wherever practicable 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 time frame
  • 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 our ambition to find them alternative employment and continue their apprenticeship as quickly as possible and within 12 weeks

In addition to the guidance in the document, there are a series of FAQs by employers and apprentices which clarify points on continuing to work, self-isolation, Working From Home, being furloughed, redundancy, unpaid leave, the apprenticeship levy and assessment.

The ESFA goes on to say that they will keep the developing situation under review.