The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is making changes to the apprenticeship programme during the COVID-19 pandemic, which we want to share with you.
The detailed guidance changes are available at Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for apprentices, employers, training providers, end-point assessment organisations and external quality assurance providers - but we have summarised those we are think are most relevant to you, below.
ESFA advise that this guidance will be kept under active review and updated regularly with further developments. We will update this page as this happens.
We hope that the frequently asked questions, and responses, are helpful to you. However please do not hesitate to contact your Skills Coach/Designated Tutor with any queries.
If you are struggling to contact your Skills Coach/Designated Tutor, then please contact B&FC's Apprenticeship Delivery Managers:
If you cannot find the answers you are looking for on this page, please visit our Student FAQs page.
If I need to self-isolate, what will happen to my apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships have been designed to be responsive to changes in apprentices’ circumstances, for example, during a period of illness.
If you need to self-isolate, please talk to your employer and your contact at B&FC about the best way to continue with your apprenticeship.
As long as you feel well enough then you can continue your apprenticeship through online learning. If you are too ill to undertake learning then other options could include:
- A short pause of less than 4 weeks. This will not affect the planned end-date of your apprenticeship
- A formal break in learning of 4 weeks or more. This will result in the planned end-date of your apprenticeship being rescheduled.
- Re-scheduling planned assessment activity for a later date.
I need to take care of myself/a family member. Can I continue my apprenticeship learning at home?
Yes, this will be possible. Please discuss this with your Skills Coach or Designated Tutor.
My employer is enforcing a work from home policy and my classroom provision has been withdrawn. What are my options?
B&FC is providing digital and distance learning alternatives to classroom provision during this time.
We will work with you and your employer to enable you to progress with your apprenticeship wherever possible.
My employer is asking me to take a period of leave, or I have been told I will be “furloughed” under the job retention scheme. What happens to my apprenticeship during that time?
At B&FC, in most cases, we will be able to continue to work with you through our online learning offer.
Please discuss how this will work for you with your Skills Coach or Designated Tutor.
There is an option to take a break from your apprenticeship and resume learning when you return to work.
This will mean your apprenticeship end date will change to reflect the time you have had as a break.
What happens to me during a period of unpaid leave in terms of money? Do I have access to Universal Credit?
Universal Credit may be available, as long as you meet the conditions of entitlement.
Apprentices on unpaid leave may also be eligible for other benefits.
How do I record progress towards my apprenticeship while I am subject to different working conditions like working from home?
You will already be recording your off-the-job training activity using OneFile.
Please continue to use this in the coming weeks. If your work circumstances change because of COVID-19, so that the delivery requirements can no longer be met, then we will discuss with you if a break in learning would be best.
My employer is laying me off/making me redundant. What happens to my apprenticeship?
If you are furloughed (through the job retention scheme) or made redundant, please speak to your Skills Coach or Designated Tutor at B&FC as soon as you can.
It is likely your apprenticeship training will be able to continue with delivery through our online offer.
In the unfortunate event that you are made redundant, we will do our very best to support you in finding a new employer.
If I can’t work/attend training, will I still be paid?
An apprenticeship is a job with training, so even when you are not able to do your training, you are still employed.
You will be paid in line with the details in your employment contract.
Where you are unable to work, you will need to speak to your employer about their policies on pay.
The government is providing a range of support to employers to help them retain and pay the wages of employees (including apprentices) during the coming months.
If your employer is not aware of the support for them, this can be accessed here government’s guidance for employers and businesses on coronavirus (COVID-19).
I am on a fixed-term contract, which would ordinarily have given enough time to complete the training and the end-point assessment. If the training is delayed, and I have not completed my EPA before I leave employment, can I do the end-point assessment afterwards?
Please speak to your Skills Coach or Designated Tutor at B&FC.
We will work with you and your employer to reschedule the EPA wherever we can, which may also include reviewing your apprenticeship agreement and commitment statement.
What will happen if I am not well enough to take my end-point assessment?
If you are unwell, or in a period of self-isolation, and unable to attend your end-point assessment, please contact your Skills Coach or Designated Tutor at B&FC as soon as you can - to provide us with enough time to re-schedule your assessment.
This information should be read alongside the government’s COVID-19 guidance and support for businesses, in particular the salary support for furloughed employees (through the job retention scheme), which also applies to apprentices.
Your Skills Coach or Designated Tutor will discuss with you how your assessment arrangements will work.
Can I still apply to be an apprentice?
If you are thinking about starting an apprenticeship, apply using our online application form. We will then contact you with more details and advise on next steps.
We have a regularly updated list of vacancies with local employers looking to recruit. And if a vacancy suited to your needs is not available, we would still love to receive your application to send to employers for consideration.
How do I apply to become an apprentice?
Further support and assistance
- To access the Apprentice support team, email ApprenticeSupport@blackpool.ac.uk
- For the detailed position on assessment, read guidance from the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IFATE)
- Read B&FC’s Student FAQs relating to the current situation.
- Health and wellbeing support services and resources