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Coronavirus (COVID-19): how the apprenticeship service will support you

We’re making temporary changes to the apprenticeship service, so that apprentices can either:

  • continue with their apprenticeships (in different ways to normal)
  • take a break in learning and continue their apprenticeships when it’s safe to return

These changes are to: 

  • support employers, apprenticeship training and assessment providers
  • help organisations plan during this period
  • give apprentices an opportunity to complete their apprenticeship despite any breaks they have to take

We’ll continue to review and update this page as the situation changes.

Check the government response to coronavirus.

Contact us if you need help understanding the changes to the apprenticeship service.

Changes to apprenticeship training

At the moment, there may be disruptions to apprenticeship training because of any of the following:

  • someone is ill, self-isolating or cannot travel 
  • they’re caring for someone who is ill
  • employees are ill or facilities are closed
  • apprentices need to work in different roles

To help support apprenticeships, we’re giving employers and providers more flexibility around the following areas:

  • breaks in learning
  • end-point assessment date
  • the way your apprentices are assessed

Employers and training providers can also try to use remote working to support the apprenticeship, such as:

  • working or studying at home
  • digital and distance learning
  • online learning platforms

Record a break in learning

During this time, employers and training providers can report a break in learning. The decision does not need to come from the apprentice. 

If the break in learning will last for:

  • less than four weeks, you do not need to record it or change the apprenticeship planned end date 
  • more than four weeks, you must record a formal break in learning on the apprenticeship service and ILR (we’ll pause funding payments to the training provider)

Payments to training providers

We’ll continue to make payments as normal to training providers who are still delivering training. Training providers will not get payments for apprentices that take a break in learning.

Training providers can check the government's package of measures to support businesses during coronavirus

Changes to an apprentice’s employment status

You need to agree whether a break in learning is appropriate if an apprentice is:

  • given a leave of absence
  • placed on unpaid leave
  • no longer with an employer that can support their apprenticeship

If an apprentice is made redundant, the training provider must support the apprentice to find another employer. ESFA will support apprentices to find another employer if a significant number are made redundant. Check P271 to P273 of the funding rules

End-point assessments

The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IFATE) has also published new guidance on the delivery of assessments.

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