apprenticeship providers - apprenticeship

How Are Apprenticeships Becoming More Flexible This Year?

The key difference between apprenticeships and any other model of employment, education or training is the integration between work and off-the-job learning, and starting in August 2024, the latter is set to become more flexible for providers, employers and apprentices alike.

An apprenticeship inherently has a significant educational component, where apprentices will spend time in classrooms working towards a qualification and the next stage in their careers. A fifth of the apprentice’s time on the course will be spent with a provider.

Generally, this is delivered as an in-class day once a week but given that not all jobs have a conventional working pattern, particularly if work is centred around projects or shifts.

Similarly, some jobs have different learning requirements wherein an apprentice needs to spend a lot of time studying theory before learning on the job, and apprenticeship courses are designed with that flexibility in mind.

This allowed for blocks of learning and front-loading the educational aspect of an apprenticeship to allow the apprentice to put their training into practice without disruption.

The problem is that the rules were that the fifth of in-class training needed to take place every 28 days (later changed to every calendar month), meaning that many seasonal employers struggled to structure their training around especially busy periods since said apprentice would train for over a week at a time.

According to revisions to the apprenticeship funding rules set to come into force on 1st August, this requirement will change from every month to every three months, allowing for far greater flexibility in when the 18 days (on average) of training are undertaken.

This allows for the focus to be centred around the apprentice receiving high-quality training, and avoiding potential breaks in learning that are unnecessary and potentially harmful for their development.

These rule changes only apply to “block release” or “front-loaded” training delivery models, and other apprenticeship courses are expected to retain the “one day a week” schedule as before.