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Learner Frequently Asked Questions

Learner Frequently Asked Questions


Apprenticeships have been designed to be responsive to changes in apprentices’ circumstances, for example during a period of illness. If you need to self-isolate, please talk to your employer and tutor about the best way to continue with your apprenticeship or report a break in learning.

Options include:

  • an increase in e-learning
  • a short pause of less than 4 weeks in your apprenticeship while you are in self- isolation. This will not affect the planned end-date of your apprenticeship
  • a formal break in learning of 4 weeks or more, then your training provider should report this to the ESFA. This will result in the planned end-date for your apprenticeship being re-planned upon returning to learning to take into consideration the duration in line with the length of your break
  • re-scheduling planned assessment activity for a later date

This will be agreed based on your and your employer needs, as your training provider we will discuss and support the best steps for you.

Yes, this is possible, e-learning is available please contact your tutor to discuss and make the arrangements with you.

An apprenticeship is a job with training, so even when you are not able to do your training, you are still employed, unless you have been notified otherwise by your employer. You will be paid in line with the details in your employment contract.

Where you are unable to work, we suggest speaking to your employer about their polices on pay. The government is providing a range of support to employers to help them retain and pay the wages of employees (including apprentices) during the coming months.

Please talk to your employer and training provider to agree the appropriate steps for your circumstances.

You should already be recording your off-the-job training activity using your e-portfolio – VQ Manager. Please continue to use this in the coming weeks.

20% off-the-job training is a statutory requirement for an apprenticeship.

All off-the-job training must be directly relevant to the apprenticeship, but this can now be delivered more flexibly, including remote working. This must still be 20% off your contracted working hours. i.e. if you are contracted to work a 37 hour week, this is approximately 7.5 hours a week.

Your employers may set you training tasks when you are working from home, but where these are not directly linked to the apprenticeship, it cannot be classed as off-the-job training.

We do not want the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to prevent you to continue to learn where this is still possible. Not being able to apply the learning straight away might present some challenges, but there are benefits from carrying on with the apprenticeship during this time, including continued engagement and progression that can all be applied to the job once it is safe and practical to do so.

Yes. While furloughed you will still be paid by your employer and pay taxes from your income. While you cannot undertake work for your employer while on furlough you can undertake training. Where training has been required by your employer you should be paid the appropriate minimum wage for the time spent training. This will be covered as part of your furlough payment in the first instance. However, where the time spent training attracts an appropriate minimum wage in excess of the furlough payment you employer should top up your furlough payment.

Apprentices who are made redundant

Please speak to your tutor as soon as possible if you are made redundant as your apprenticeship training may be able to continue.

Your training provider may still be able to offer training, based on your circumstances, in the short term. They may even be able to support you in finding a new employer.

If that move becomes permanent, you should look to see which alternative apprenticeship your apprentice can transfer to at ‘Find Apprenticeship Training’ and liaise with your training provider in the usual way.

Apprentices who are on unpaid leave

Many employers who had planned to ask employees to take unpaid leave during this period will now be able to access the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and receive financial support to keep you employed. You should speak to your employer about this to understand whether you are still being asked to take unpaid leave, or if your status is now considered to be furloughed.

If you are still being asked to take unpaid leave. Please get in touch with your tutor to discuss this.

You should refer any queries around terms and conditions, including wages, to your employer in the first instance.

The ACAS website may also be a good source of information.

Through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. Please see the HMRC website for full details.

Alternatively, Universal Credit may be available for both workers and the unemployed alike, if they meet the other conditions of entitlement (including that the applicant and their partner have savings of under £16,000 between them). Apprentices may be entitled to access Universal Credit during a period of unpaid leave. They may also have access to Universal Credit even if they were working and being paid. Being laid off or on a lesser number of hours could increase the rate of Universal Credit entitlement.

Apprentices on unpaid leave may also be eligible for other benefits

Apprenticeship Assessment Frequently Asked Questions

You must be employed when you are taking your end-point assessment, so where a break in learning has been necessary, and the planned end-date for your apprenticeship has had to move back, please speak to your employer and tutor. We will work with you and your employer to reschedule your training which may also include reviewing your apprenticeship agreement and commitment statement. We will keep you updated should the situation change on this.

If you are unwell, or in a period of self-isolation, and unable to attend your end-point assessment, please contact your tutor as soon as you are able, to allow them maximum time to re-schedule your assessment.

Where an assessment method requires face to face engagement, this can be conducted remotely, but these are subject to specific conditions. Please speak to your tutor about these.

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