Guidance for apprentices, employers, training providers and assessment organisations in response to the impact of COVID-19

07 April 2020

New guidance has been published to advise apprentices, employers and providers of apprenticeship training, assessment and external assurance, of the support that the government is providing to help them in response to the outbreak of coronavirus.

The resounding message is that help is available to support both apprentices and employers to continue to build the skills capabilities that the country needs, both now, and in the future.

Steps are being taken by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to ensure that, wherever possible, apprentices can complete their apprenticeships, and that providers can be supported through the current turbulent times.

The range of support measures include:

  • The introduction of flexibilities to enable furloughed apprentices to continue with training, on the proviso that it does not provide services to, or generate revenue for their employer
  • Encouraging training providers to train apprentices remotely and via e-learning, where it is possible to do so
  • Allowing changes to end-point assessment arrangements, to include remote assessments where possible, in order to maintain progress and achievement for apprentices
  • Allowing end-point assessments for apprentices ready for assessment, but who cannot be assessed due to coronavirus, to be rescheduled
  • Apprentices whose gateway is delayed are allowed an extension to the assessment time frame
  • Allowing employers and training providers to initiate and report a break-in learning, if the interruption to learning is due to COVID-19 and exceeds four weeks
  • Providing information that confirms how to document breaks in learning so that funding is not disrupted
  • Where apprentices are made redundant, steps will be taken to help find them alternative employment and continue their apprenticeship as soon as possible and within 12 weeks

The publication also confirms that the developing situation will continuously be kept under review and that guidance will be updated in line with this.


The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication. For all the latest information, news and resources on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting payroll professions, visit our Coronavirus hub.