This is a difficult time for apprentices, employers and providers of apprenticeship training, assessment and external assurance. The Government is committed to supporting apprentices and employers continue to build the skills capabilities the country needs now and in the future.
The Education and Skills Funding Agency is responding by taking steps to ensure that wherever possible apprentices can continue and complete their apprenticeship, despite any break they need to take as a result of COVID-19, and to support providers during this challenging time.
The support we are providing includes:
• Encouraging training providers to deliver training to apprentices remotely and via e-learning as far as is practicable.
• Allowing the modification of end-point assessment arrangements, including remote assessments wherever practicable and possible.
• Clarifying that apprentices ready for assessment but who cannot be assessed due to COVID-19 issues can have their End-point assessment rescheduled. Apprentices whose gateway is delayed can have an extension to the assessment timeframe.
• Enabling employers and training providers to report and initiate a break in learning where the interruption to learning due to COVID-19 is greater than four weeks.
• Clarification on how to record breaks in learning so that funding is not unnecessarily disrupted.
• Confirming that where apprentices are made redundant, it is our ambition to find them alternative employment and continue their apprenticeship as quickly as possible and within 12 weeks.
We are keeping the developing situation and our guidance under review and will continue updating this guidance as new information is available and/ or the situation evolves.
Our information should be read alongside Government’s COVID-19 guidance and support for businesses at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses, in particular the salary support for furloughed employees, which also applies to apprentices. and guidance from the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IFATE) on the delivery of assessment at https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/response-to-covid-19/