On the 06/04/20 the Government published guidance for apprenticeships during the COVID-19 pandemic stating that levy payments made by companies will not cease and furloughed apprentices can continue their training as long as it does not provide services or generate revenue for their employer.
This guidance was released by the Department of Education and the Skills Funding Agency.
Daniel Barnett, employment law barrister outlines some key points:
- Confirming apprentices on furlough can continue their training as long as it does not provide services or generate revenue for their employer (we knew that already).
- Encouraging both training, and assessment, to take place remotely
- Granting extensions, where appropriate, to the timetable for assessments
- Allowing breaks in learning, and explaining how they should be recorded
- Stating HM Treasury will not be pausing apprenticeship levy payments for employers
The guidance also states:
Our flexibilities will make it easier for apprentices to continue as an apprentice, by enabling them to take a break from their learning, or do their learning or assessment in a different way to that originally planned, even if they are put on furlough by their employer.
As well as ensuring that employers will still have the skills they need for the future, it means that they can temporarily redeploy apprentices without ending their apprenticeship.
Apprentices that have been made redundant will be supported by the Government, who will help to find them alternative employment and to continue their apprenticeship. Those who provide training have been instructed to offer remote learning.
In January 2020, Aaron Jeffries, apprenticeship programme lead at Covea Insurance spoke to HRreview where he said that the apprenticeship area is becoming more and more competitive as we go on. Also, he feels now, that graduates are placed more alongside apprenticeships. He went onto explain the strong benefits that apprenticeships bring, such as the individual not having any university debt.