The Education and Skills Funding Agency has issued the following advice about the Apprenticeship programs response to Covid-19
We want to make sure that you are receiving the latest communications around apprenticeship and skills announcements so that you are clear about the Government’s position.
We are here to give you the information that you need; so you can understand any new policy changes and flexibilities that can impact on them.
At the same time as we are focused on communications, we are very eager to gather your feedback and insights on the packages of support being offered to employers at this time.
We published The Apprenticeship Programme response to COVID-19. The Skills Minister Gillian Keegan wrote to the non-college FE sector (letter attached) to share the link to our new guidance, as well as other support we are providing to the sector.
Our guidance provides information on:
- applying the policy on breaks in learning;
- delays to end-point assessment (EPA); and
- alternative arrangements for EPA and external quality assurance.
And sets out details of the specific support we are providing, which 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.
The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education has also published new guidance on the delivery of assessment at https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/response-to-covid-19/
We will be updating this guidance regularly as we develop further areas of our programme to support providers, employers and apprentices.
We will give you the opportunity to digest this information and contact you over the next few days to get feedback from you and your members. In the interim, if you have any immediate questions please raise them with your assigned account manager who will be happy to help.
Employer Support Package
As I mentioned earlier, our priority is to listen to comments from you and your members on a range of topics; such as the new employer package announced by the Chancellor last Friday which can be read here:
Your ‘voice’ is crucial in helping the Government understand how these announcements are ‘landing’ with trusted intermediary groups and their members.
One of the ESFA team will contact you to capture your thoughts as well as what you are hearing ‘on the ground’ from your members on this specific announcement.
At this very challenging time for our country, we want to make sure we communicate effectively and listen intently to ensure the most appropriate support can be offered.
View and download the full advice PDF file here:
Apprenticship program response to Covid-19