Employers Guidance COVID-19 and Apprenticeships

This section will be updated on a regular basis as new guidance is released.

Update August 2021

Throughout this challenging pandemic, our apprentices have proved themselves invaluable within their work settings. Supporting their employers by providing additional workforce capacity with critical workers children /vulnerable children during Lockdowns and with the recovery/reconnection curriculum once full return to school.

At Sporting Futures Training we have succeeded in moving all learning onto a virtual platform with regular interactions and training with Tutors and apprentices. Where possible , socially distanced learning has also taken place with the hope of a gradual return to a new mix of blended learning involving both face to face and virtual delivery.

Please see our Remote Learning Plans for our Learners:

provision for remote learning

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

A FEW FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS RELATING TO APPRENTICESHIPS, EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING – Some of these may  still be relevant as we move forwards with the ‘new’, world of living with covid19.

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.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

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.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme