Apprentices

Department for Education written question – answered on 4th December 2020.

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Photo of Karin Smyth Karin Smyth Shadow Minister (Northern Ireland)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of apprentices have not had the required amount of training in the workplace necessary to complete their apprenticeship; and what steps he is taking to ensure apprentices receive the training they require.

Photo of Gillian Keegan Gillian Keegan The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

We are committed to supporting apprentices and employers to safely continue with, and complete, their programmes during the COVID-19 outbreak while maintaining quality. Provisional figures show that 46,930 apprentices achieved their apprenticeships (frameworks and standards) between 23 March and the end of July 2020.

In recognition of the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, we introduced a number of flexibilities in March to ensure that apprenticeships can continue where possible. These includes flexibilities to off-the-job training to support remote learning and making it possible for furloughed apprentices to continue their apprenticeships and undertake end-point assessments.

For apprentices who have experienced disruption to their training due to the COVID-19 outbreak, employers are able to extend the planned duration of the apprenticeship to accommodate this. 54,330 breaks in learning were recorded from the 23 March to the end of July 2020.

Where apprentices are continuing with their apprenticeships, they should continue to receive the minimum 20% off-the-job training requirements, and their training must remain relevant to their apprenticeship. Where a provider is able to do so safely, apprenticeship training can be delivered in the workplace where that workplace meets COVID-19 secure guidelines on ensuring the workplace is secure. Apprentices are only put forward for end-point assessment when the employer and training provider judge them to display occupational competence and meet the minimum requirements of the apprenticeship, including for off-the-job training.

We continue to engage with providers and employers to understand the situation for their apprentices and help them make the most of the existing flexibilities to best deliver training.

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