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Managing apprentices: updates to the 20% off-the-job requirement

From 1st August 2022, the minimum number of off-the-job hours that an apprentice is required to undertake as part of their apprenticeship will no longer be linked to an apprentice’s total weekly working hours.  Instead, a baseline of six hours per week will be introduced, irrespective of the hours worked by the apprentice.  This means that apprentices who work more than 30 hours per week can now spend less than 20% of their time doing off-the-job training.

The ESFA has stated that this change to apprentices’ minimum off-the-job requirement “must not dilute the existing requirement – but provide the right level of training to every apprentice”.

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Managing apprentices: updates tot he 20 percent off the job requirement

What is the 20% off-the-job requirement?

The current 20% off-the-job requirement was introduced in 2017, after the apprenticeship levy reforms. Whilst some argue that this requirement represents a crucial factor in an apprentice’s learning and development, many claim that it acts as the single biggest barrier to entry in recruiting apprentices and proves especially unfair on those apprentices who work long hours within their employment.

What constitutes off-the-job training?

Off-the-job training can include:

  1. The teaching of theory (lectures, role playing, simulation exercises, online learning or manufacturer training).

  2. Practical training (shadowing, mentoring, industry visits and participation in competitions).

  3. Learning support and time spent writing assessments or working on assignments.

What does this mean for the apprentice’s employer?

This is welcome news for employers who have previously struggled with the 20% off-the-job requirement, which always proved controversial, particularly where learners were working longer hours and therefore needed to spend more of their time on off-the-job hours – employers felt like they were losing too much productive working time to the 20% off-the-job requirement.

 

Seeking help from the experts

If you employ apprentices and would like to know more about how the newly announced changes to the off-the-job requirement will affect you, or the apprentices you manage, Get In Touch for further advice.

(DID YOU KNOW? Rubitek’s software is a complete learning management solution and can help you to seamlessly track and evidence your apprentices’ off-the-job hours. Find out more by booking a call today.)

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