We might be working from home but we are still working hard to provide you with information and advice relating to how the crisis is affecting apprenticeships and funding. We want to support you and make sure we share any important information with you which could affect your apprenticeship or training programme.
We are also continuing to deliver training and assessment to apprentices remotely and/or via e-learning as far as we can. Our work based tutors are working with learners to give them meaningful work to be doing to help them achieve their apprenticeships.
We are keeping a careful eye on any announcements and guidance issued by the Government which could affect apprenticeships.
As part of the cross-government efforts to respond to the impact of COVID-19, the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is implementing new measures, for the duration of the pandemic, to make it easier for apprenticeships to continue and complete in a different way.
There is official guidance here for apprentices, employers, training providers and assessment organisations in response to the impact of COVID-19. It outlines the changes that the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is making to apprenticeship programmes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you’re a levy paying organisation you may be wondering what this means for you and your levy payments for the month of March.
Following the advice given by the ESFA, we ask that employers do not to use the Apprenticeship Service to ‘pause’ or ‘stop’ payments, where some training has been delivered in March. Doing so will result in the Chesterfield College Group not receiving any payment for these apprentices.
If a Break in Learning (interruption to learning due to COVID-19 for four weeks or more) commences in April, the apprenticeship should be ‘paused’ by you as the employer through the Apprenticeship Service at the point the break in learning begins.
You should not ‘stop’ the apprenticeship through the Apprenticeship Service as this will prevent it resuming subsequently. If you stop the funding you will also pause the clock on receiving your employer incentive payment if this is applicable to your organisation.
In circumstances related to COVID-19, employers must only use the ‘Stop’ function when they are certain that training will not resume at any point. Using ‘Pause’ will stop payments temporarily and allow you and the apprentice to resume the apprenticeship at a later date.
If apprentices are in furlough they can continue on programme if they are expected to start back at work within four weeks.
We are keeping a close eye on the developing situation but please remember these details are subject to change. The ESFA continue to update guidelines and policies so we would urge you to check their website for the latest, up to date information as the situation evolves.