The Coronavirus pandemic means these are strange times we’re living in. Trust us, we’re feeling it too. There’s no college, most of us are stuck at home and you’ll no doubt be wondering what’s happening with your apprenticeship.
There’s a few things you need to know, but the government and training providers want apprentices to be able to finish their apprenticeship despite any disruption caused by coronavirus.
If you’re feeling blue about all of this, take comfort from the fact you, the UK’s apprentices, will be playing a big part in helping the country get back on its feet when everything gets back to normal.
We’ve read the latest official advice and this is what you need to know.
If you are self-isolating, you should:
- Let your employer know
- Do as much e-learning as you can
- Talk to your training provider – you may need them to reschedule your end-point assessment
Working from home
If your employer is telling you to work from home and your college is shut, these are your options:
- Your training provider might put on virtual classes using Zoom or something similar, and provide you with resources to learn from home
- If it’s likely you’ll be able to resume your apprenticeship in less than four weeks, you can take a short pause and the end-date of your apprenticeship won’t be affected
- You can take a longer break of four weeks or more. Your training provider will report this to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and the end-date for your apprenticeship will be rescheduled when you return to learning
You may be unable to work but haven’t been made redundant. You should:
- Think about taking a break from your apprenticeship and picking up again when you can go back to work
- It might sound like we’re repeating ourselves, but do as much learning from home as you can!
- You may be able to claim Universal Credit or other benefits
If you are being laid off by your employer, you need to:
- Talk to your training provider, as your apprenticeship training may be able to continue. They might also be able to help you find a new employer
- Find out what benefits, such as Universal Credit, you are entitled to. The gov.uk website has lots of helpful advice
Some assessments require a face-to-face meeting, but training providers realise that may not be possible for many.
- These can be done remotely as long as certain conditions are met. Talk these over with your training provider
- It may be decided that a remote assessment isn’t appropriate. In this case, your apprenticeship might need to be paused and your assessment rescheduled.
- Even if the coronavirus situation goes on for a long time, it’s unlikely that apprenticeships will be awarded without the end-point assessment
There’s more information at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-apprenticeship-programme-response. Training providers such as City & Guilds and JTL also have Coronavirus updates on their websites. There are updates on how Coronavirus is affecting the plumbing industry over on our live updates story.