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info_outline Coronavirus (COVID-19): As of 17th March we have suspended Classroom Courses and Computer Based Exams.

Further information can be found here ›

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Advice for employers with apprentices

You may have seen that the Government has published some specific Apprenticeship guidance launch (23rd March 2020) which supports the approach we have been taking so far; to keep Apprentices in learning, but providing flexible, remote, support.

Find out more:

The Institutes have issued guidance regarding the running of exams which have been summarised for you. We've outlined how Kaplan are responding to the changes to help keep students in learning.

Last updated: 2nd April, 2020

Keep apprentices engaged during Covid 19

If you'd like to know more or have any questions about furloughing and the continuation of learning, we're hosting a FREE webinar for clients on Wednesday 8th April at 3pm BST.

Join Jenny Pelling, Apprenticeship Partnerships Director at Kaplan, who will answer questions that employers have been asking around furloughing and breaks in learning; what this means for apprentices and how we can keep all apprentices engaged at this critical time.

Register now for webinar

From this guidance, we would like to draw your attention to the following areas:

Can learners continue on apprenticeship?
What is furloughing and how might it affect an apprenticeship?
What is the position for apprentices needing a Break in Learning?
What impact do the exam cancellations, particularly the EPA, have on an apprenticeship?
Is Kaplan accepting new apprentices?
What happens to apprentices who are being made redundant?

"Can learners continue on an apprenticeship?"
Apprentices can continue via online study methods. Apprentices do not need to attend a physical training centre or to have physical contact with colleagues in order to continue. So those working from home for example, can continue with their Apprenticeship as long as they can access our learning and apply their learning in their home-working environment.

If an apprentice is unable to do any learning ('on' or 'off the job') for four consecutive weeks or longer, we can arrange for them to have a break in learning. Please talk to your Account Manager or Talent Coach about this.

If you do need to put a learner on a break, please allow us to do this for you - do not stop their funding on the Levy system it will then be difficult to restart them.

"What happens for an apprentice being furloughed? Can they continue training?"

Yes an apprentice can continue studying whilst furloughed, as they are still being paid (by the Gov.) and are still employed.

This is subject to some caveats below which are designed to ensure that training is not used as a cover for working.

The government updated its advice on 27 March 2020 to specify that undertaking training, whilst furloughed, is permitted:

"A furloughed employee can take part in volunteer work or training, as long as it does not provide services to or generate revenue for, or on behalf of your organisation. However, if workers are required to for example, complete online training courses whilst they are furloughed, then they must be paid at least their appropriate minimum wage (NLW, NMW or AMW) for the time spent training, even if this is more than the 80% of their wage that will be subsidised."

This supports Kaplan’s recommendation that apprentices keep studying wherever possible whilst furloughed, rather than go on a Break in Learning. This is also the view recommended by the Association of Employer and Learning Providers, who have stated that apprentices should continue with their studies, whilst not working.

However, if the apprentice can not do any study or skills and behaviour development relevant to their apprenticeship standard for more than four consecutive weeks, then they may need to go on a Break in Learning from their apprenticeship. This should be for a four week period and then reviewed.

If your apprentice is furloughed please ask your apprentice to update their training log and let their Talent Coach know.

If you have an Account Manager at Kaplan please let them know.

We will place this information on the apprentice's records and make an extra effort to encourage them to continue with their studies.

"What is the position for apprentices needing a Break in Learning?"
If the apprentice cannot do any studying for more than four consecutive weeks, we should put them on a 'Break in Learning'. This is a process which Kaplan will do for you.

The steps are:

  • You notify us in writing via your Talent Coach or Account Manager that you wish an apprentice to have a Break in Learning.
  • The Talent Coach will complete a Break in Learning agreement and a return to learning date, in principle, should be agreed upon.
  • If the apprenticeship is funded via The Apprenticeship Service, please only pause the funding. We ask you not to stop it, as this will cause complications when the Break in Learning is lifted.

"What impact do the exam cancellations, particularly the EPA, have on an apprenticeship?"
With regard to exams and assessments (including Functional Skills and End Point Assessments), we are working with awarding bodies to find alternative/remote solutions that will enable apprentices to undertake assessment without breaching contact restrictions. There may be some delays as these methods are established, but we are confident that everyone will be able to complete.

"Is Kaplan accepting new apprentices?"
Kaplan is open for new Apprenticeship starts - but please note learning will be online for the foreseeable future. Please submit an enrolment form in the normal way for any new starts.

"What happens to apprentices who are being made redundant?"
If you are not furloughing your apprentice, nor providing a break in learning and have to make them redundant, we will provide guidance to the apprentice about seeking alternative employment.

The government currently allows apprentices 12 weeks to find alternative employment and still continue with their apprenticeship.

We are not sending direct communication to our students about the above, but our FAQs on the website have been updated to reflect this latest information. We continue to remind students that they need to talk to their employer and unless otherwise told by you, they should continue to follow their existing study plan.

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