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Off The Job Training

What is off-the-job training?

According to the definition provided in the Funding Rules 2022/23, Off the-job training is defined as learning done outside of an apprentice’s normal working duties, but within their working hours. It can include training that is delivered at the apprentice’s normal place of work. It can also include regular day release, block release and special training days/workshops

Why is there a 6 hours a week off-the-job training rule?

The government believes that ensuring a substantial component of the apprenticeship is given over to off-the job training is the best way to safeguard the quality of the apprenticeship.
While learning skills on the job is essential in any profession, combining this with broader learning about the occupation offers deeper understanding and knowledge, skills and behaviours that are transferable to other businesses, while allowing the apprentice to bring that knowledge back into your organisation during their period of employment.

Why has the government brought this in?

It’s actually not new. Off-the-job learning was part of each of the old SASE Frameworks guidance. However this is the first time a specific proportion of off-the-job learning has been mandated.

Why 6 hours a week?

Apprentices must spend an average 6 hours a week of their contracted hours in off-the-job training, not including holidays.
So, on a standard apprenticeship, the off-the-job portion of training equates to 278 hours a year.

Does off-the-job training mean classroom based training?

No! The funding rules are broad enough to cover a blended learning approach for off-the-job training. While the teaching of theory may well include lectures, it can also include online courses, simulation exercises, or third party training. In addition, practical training might involve shadowing colleagues, being mentored, doing industry visits or attending competitions. Finally, off-the-job training can also include learning support and time spent writing assessments/assignments

Does the 6 hours a week have to be delivered in a particular way?

There are no regulations over how you (and your training partner) decide how to parcel up the delivery of off-the-job training.

Do I have to use an external training provider for off-the-job training?

You must use a training provider who has been accepted onto the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers. However if you meet the criteria, it is possible to apply to become an Employer-Provider.

If my apprentice needs additional training on functional skills does this count towards the 6 hours a week

Unfortunately, not, apprenticeship funding including the levy is only eligible for training that is directly related to the completion the standard.

What else doesn’t count towards off-the-job training?

Programme reviews or on-programme assessment.
Training that takes place outside an apprentice’s normal working hours.

Why are many organisations calling for more flexibility with this rule?

One of the main arguments against the off-the-job rule is that it makes life difficult for smaller businesses who cannot financially support the loss of productivity. However this must be weighed against the fact that the government will fully fund apprenticeship training for 16-18 year olds for companies with under 50 employees, as well as the fact that the minimum apprentice wage is lower than the normal minimum wage. Where possible it is also important for employers to take the longer term view, with eight in every 10 employers believing that apprentices help to generate higher productivity.

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