Category Archives: covid-19

Latest Employer Guidance and Employer Engagement

Employer Engagement:

Return to work January 2021: 

Please be advised that we have asked Apprentices to discuss with their mentors and Headteachers the plans for return to work for the January 2021 Term.

We are here to support both Employers and Learners if there are any queries or concerns relating to vulnerabilities/ anxieties etc .

Please contact Jill Eaton: 01438 791068

Please click on the links

Employers Engagement  

Employers Guidance June 2020




Employers Guidance

Employers Update 6th May 2020

Whilst it is the intention of sporting futures training to support our learners and employers to continue with their learning as they in turn support delivery in the workplace to key workers children, we also recognise that some employers will have questions they would like to ask relating to employment.

Decisions have now been made and guidance produced by OFQUAL and Awarding Bodies to show how we can assess current technical and Vocational qualifications in a more flexible way similar way as GCSE and A levels, to ensure that Learners on vocational paths are NOT disadvantaged at this difficult time. This works well for those Apprenticeships that still involve Frameworks, such as the Activity Leadership and Level 3 Supporting PE and School Sport as they have qualifications within them.

With regards to the Apprenticeship standards that involve an Apprentice reaching Gateway and then proceeding towards their End Point Assessment , there has been some flexibilities introduced and we are at this moment in time meeting and discussing with our tutors the best and most appropriate way forwards for both our Learners and Employers.

If Learners require Functional skills, yet again there has been some flexibility introduced and at this moment in time as an organisation we are assessing the impact of delivery for individual Learners and will notify the Learners and Employers of requirements as soon as this review and assessment for each Learner has taken place.

With regards to completion and duration times on apprenticeships but we must be mindful that we may need to extend learners time in their role in order to complete their apprenticeships, but depending upon a Learners intended pathway it is key that this is taken into account to allow them to progress onto their next steps of their Learning journey, i.e. if, a Learner is intending to take up a place within Higher Education then we must ensure they are able to do so.

We are also mindful that there will be potential opportunities during this time for mentors/employers to observe and collect evidence of Learners delivering and supporting in the workplace and this may well support any assessment decisions that can be made relating to level of competency of your Learner. We will be forwarding observation sheets that could be used by an employer to support learning, if, there is time and opportunity to do so.

We will endeavour to keep employers updated as the landscape continues to change, and we will also be looking forward to opportunities for employment of Apprentices in Sept 2020.

To this end we will have a regular Employers Engagement Meeting scheduled for every Monday 11-00am – 12-00pm and this will be an opportunity to drop into the session and ask questions directly to the Directors Jill Eaton and Jo Pountney.

Dates and details will be regularly posted on our website and the first meeting is scheduled for:

New Employers – Opportunity to Find out about Apprenticeships in your school – Directors Jill Eaton and Jo Pountney – Existing Employers Q and A from 11-30am

Employer Engagement Meeting – Apprenticeships in Schools
Mon, May 11, 2020 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM (BST)

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

You can also dial in using your phone.
United States: +1 (646) 749-3112

Access Code: 895-141-413

New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts:

Can we thank you for your continued support?

Please find below some FAQ relating to the current situation and please do not hesitate to contact

[email protected] tel: 07901 603292 for further updates.







If an employer puts an apprentice on unpaid leave rather than furlough can the apprentice still undertake their apprenticeship training? (07/04)

Audit, Covid-19, Funding Rules / By Simon Ashworth

NO, the apprentice cannot undertake any training towards their apprenticeship programme whilst on a period of unpaid leave, this is a different scenario to being furloughed on the Covid-19 Job Retention Scheme.

The apprentice needs to be in paid employment and in this situation the apprentice should take a break in learning from their apprenticeship and resume when they return to work from their period of unpaid leave

For Levy Paying Employers:

Will there be any changes to the apprenticeship levy as a result of Covid-19, such as pausing the levy payments or extending the current sunset period of 24 months that employers have to spend their levy pot? (07/04)

Covid-19, Funding / By Simon Ashworth

Currently, no. The DfE has said the following:

“The apprenticeship levy is an important part of the Government’s aim to raise apprenticeship quality which supports employers to make a long-term, sustainable investment in training. Due to this HMT has no current plans to pause the collection of the apprenticeship levy because of the Covid-19 disruption”

“Employers already have 24 months in which to spend their levy funds before these expire. For now, the DfE does not intend to make any changes to current arrangements”


Does the employer (where necessary) have to top up the apprentice’s wages for training just for any off-the-job training, but not functional skills training? (08/04)

Audit, Covid-19, Funding Rules / By Simon Ashworth

Our advice on reading the guidance is that all training is included, not just technical training linked to off-the-job, so yes any time the apprentice undertakes on maths and English may in some circumstances mean the wages related to that time being topped-up by the employer.

The guidance from the DfE/ESFA states that:

Apprentices can be furloughed in the same way as other employees and they can continue to train whilst furloughed…. However, the employer must pay your Apprentices at least the Apprenticeship Minimum Wage, National Living Wage or National Minimum Wage (AMW/NLW/NMW) as appropriate for all the time they spend training


Is there a minimum period an employee or apprentice can be furloughed for? (04/04)

Covid-19 / By Simon Ashworth

Any employees you place on furlough must be furloughed for a minimum period of 3 consecutive weeks. When they return to work, they must be taken off furlough. Employees can be furloughed multiple times, but each separate instance must be for a minimum period of 3 consecutive weeks.


government issued advice to share with employers on whether furloughed apprentices can still undertake training and what they might need to be paid? (04/04)

Covid-19 / By Simon Ashworth

The government guidance supports the advice given so far by AELP. The guidance has been updated to say:

“Apprentices can be furloughed in the same way as other employees and they can continue to train whilst furloughed.

However, you must pay your Apprentices at least the Apprenticeship Minimum Wage, National Living Wage or National Minimum Wage (AMW/NLW/NMW) as appropriate for all the time they spend training. This means you must cover any shortfall between the amount you can claim for their wages through this scheme and their appropriate minimum wage.


ALL Central Training scheduled has been cancelled until further notice

URGENT: We have cancelled the Central Training scheduled for the following weeks in light of the continuing development of the Covid-19.

All Tutors , Learners have been supplied with a plan of online training to allow for forthcoming school closures in all areas.

In the meantime continue to review the Government helpline for the most up to date advice and guidance:

1. Information: helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education

Staff, parents and young people with questions about COVID-19 related to education can contact the helpline as follows:

The opening hours are 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday).

The latest guidance for education settings is available on GOV.UK.

COVID-19 – SFT Guidance

COVID-19 Sporting Futures Training staff are fully committed to supporting Learners and Employers throughout this challenging time.

Tutors have been fully briefed with regards to communicating with their Learners .

Notifications/updates to Learners will be sent via the Eportal /Tutors/website

and to Employers via website/Tutors communications and Central office Emails.

Jill Eaton is Crisis Officer for SFT : 07901 603292

The first link will take you to the most recent advice and guidance from Public Health

The second link is specifically for Educational Settings and offers advice