We’re committed to supporting our learners and the employers we work with during this difficult time. Our Learning and Development Coaches and Tutors will continue to be available via phone, email and video chat to help learners continue studying.
Guidance from the Government
On Friday 27th March, Government confirmed that apprentices who are furloughed can continue learning and stay on their programmes.
This includes being able to carry on building their portfolios of evidence, working towards their functional skills and preparing for exams. This won't have an effect on any money that employers claim under the Job Retention Scheme.
Apprentices who are ready for their End Point Assessment but can't finish it due to Covid-19 related issues can have a break in learning. While learners may be delayed in completing their apprenticeship, the Department of Education has brought in measures to avoid negatively impacting apprentices.
We understand some employers may be considering furloughing apprentices. The advice from the Government has been:
- Those that are furloughed can continue training, as long as it doesn't generate revenue for a business.
- Where furloughed apprentices are on a leave of absence, placed on unpaid leave, or employment changes no longer support their apprenticeship, the apprentice, employer and training provider should consider a break in learning.
- People that need to complete online training whilst furloughed must be paid at least the National Living Wage/National Minimum Wage for their time spent training, even if this is more than the 80% of their wage that will be subsidised.
This shouldn't affect employers that pay their learners above the Apprentice and National Minimum Wage. If you have a furloughed apprentice that's been on programme for longer than 12 months, there may be implications for their pay.
Furlough Employees and National Minimum Wage
If the apprentice is in their first year of learning as an apprentice, the apprentice Minimum Wage applies, so long as their hourly rate is £4.15, they can continue learning.
If the apprentice is in their second year of learning as an apprentice, the National Minimum Wage applies (and the age of the learning is relevant). The Employer will need to pay 20% top-up against an agreed period of training per month e.g. 1-2 day per month (which they won’t be able to claim un the furlough scheme).
If the employer is unable to top up for the benefit of the learner then they will need to go on a break in learning.
Breaks in Learning
We highly encourage any employer to consider each learner and where they are in their apprenticeship before they make any decisions on breaks in learning.
If you need help discussing these options, please speak to your Learning Delivery Coach if you are an apprentice or please speak to your Account Manager if you’re a client.
ITP Support Packages
There is an ESFA Provider Release scheme and Support Package in addition to the Treasury Scheme.
Our Measures and Response
Learning and Development Coach Visits
All Learning and Development Coach visits are virtual.
We've adapted our apprenticeship programmes for online delivery.
- Learning & Development Coach visits are all conducted remotely
- We use a remote desktop environment, so learners do not need to download software
- Practical elements often involve online interactive collaboration – this mirrors the work context and allows them to apply learning
- Additional resources implemented such as Pluralsight for learners
- All HR, L&D and Accounting apprenticeship are unaffected as all teaching is online
Health and Wellbeing
We know the impact of social distancing can be very isolating, especially for young people.
We've developed webinar masterclasses that focus on this topic to help learners working from home and how to maintain health and wellbeing.
Frequently Asked Questions
If apprentices are furloughed for longer than 4 weeks do we have to enforce a break in learning?
No, the apprentices can continue learning when in furlough, the employer just needs to ensure they are paid National Minimum Wage.
If apprentices are furloughed can apprentices continue with the technical elements of their study i.e. learning modules and scheduled study-weeks?