Important information for apprentices – UPDATED 22/04/20

I’ve received a letter from the ESFA about the 16 – 19 Bursary Fund. Should I send my bank details to them?

We have been made aware of attempted fraudulent activity concerning the 16-19 Bursary Fund. If you receive a letter asking you to give personal banking details please ignore it. You can read more about this here: Increased Fraud Risk to students

Can I volunteer to do my learning at home?

This should be a decision between you, your employer and the learning provider. A learner can volunteer to do their learning, but if the employer agrees, they must pay the learner the appropriate minimum wage for the time they are training.

If I am on furlough and still learning at home does my employer have to pay at least National Minimum Wage (NMW) instead of or on top of the 80% payment?

Where training is undertaken by furloughed workers, at the request of their employer, workers are entitled to be paid at least the NMW for this time. In most cases, the furlough payment of 80% of a worker’s wage, up to the value of £2,500, will provide enough money to cover these training hours. However, where the furlough payment does not meet the appropriate minimum wage for the time spent training, employers will need to pay the additional wages to top up.

Should I carry on going to work?

The Government guidelines say that you should work from home unless it is impossible for you to do so.

Sometimes this will not be possible, as not everyone can work from home. Certain jobs require people to travel to their place of work – for instance if you operate machinery, work in construction or manufacturing, or are delivering front line services.

There is full guidance about continuing to work on the .gov website.

People are talking to me about furlough – what does it mean?

If you are unable to carry out your work safely, or you cannot work from home the Government have set up what they call a Furlough Scheme. You could call it being laid off, but still getting some pay. You will receive 80% of your weekly/monthly wage and remain on the employment records of your employer. This means when things return to normal you will have employment to return to so you can complete your apprenticeship.

Will I be told to go on furlough?

Many apprentices will be asked by their employers to go on furlough.

Is being furloughed a good option for me?

For many apprentices this will be a good option. If you cannot work from home, your role is customer facing or not classed a ‘key work’ then being furloughed will be your best option as it will mean that you will have employment to return to when things return to normal. It also means that you will still receive a wage, even though it will be a reduced one.

What will I be able to do if I’m on furlough?

During your period of furlough you can continue to work on the knowledge elements of your apprenticeship via tasks set by your trainer. This is called ‘accelerated learning’ as you can do more than the usual 20% per week.

This means that on your return to work you can work on the practical elements of the apprenticeship, gathering the work-based evidence required to complete the qualification.

What about my Functional Skills work?

You will receive login details and instructions to an online Functional Skills platform called Century so you can continue to make progress in these subjects.

What about the Apprenticeship workshops?

Apprenticeship workshops will continue to run on your normal timetabled day via the online platform ‘Teams’ or other online method discussed with your Trainer .  This will enable you to have communication with your Trainer and your peers.

Can I get any further information?

You should have details to contact your trainer with any questions about your apprenticeship. If you wish to contact College at any time you can email or fill in the online form on the page:

Advice and Guidance

There is more government information available on this webpage:

Last updated: 22nd April 2020

Originally posted on: 22nd April 2020