In recent weeks there has been uncertainty around how COVID-19 will impact upon apprenticeships and employers offering such schemes. The Government has now issued guidance for employers who provide apprenticeship schemes which can be found here. The guidance should aid and provide clarity.
The guidance is in place with immediate effect and will continue to apply until further notice.
They key points that you should be aware of are:
1. Employers, and training and assessment providers, are encouraged to make use of distance-learning wherever possible for them to do so.
2. Apprentices who are furloughed can continue their training where their provider can do so remotely.
3. Employers and training providers can, for the time being, report and initiate a break in learning where there is an interruption to learning which is greater than 4 weeks.
4. Training providers will continue to be paid for any training they have delivered which they can evidence.
5. For training delivered in March, providers will be able to receive payment. The training, if not fully delivered, should be delivered later.
6. End-point assessment organisations should discuss assessment options with External Quality Assurance Providers (EQAPs). Apprentices due for assessment will be able to have their assessments rescheduled.
For manufacturers who employ and use apprentices this guidance should be your first port of call for any queries. Although it is detailed, it does provide useful advice, and it has many frequently asked questions which should assist.