‘Off-the-Job’ Training is a key part of all Apprenticeship programmes. But what exactly is it and how does it work? Here’s our quick guide to everything you need to know.

What’s the purpose of off-the-job training?

An Apprenticeship is all about upskilling the apprentice so that they develop the skills, knowledge and behaviour they need to be ‘occupationally competent’ in their chosen area. Off-the-job training gives the apprentice the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities towards achieving their Apprenticeship.

Is it optional?

Off-the-job training is a mandatory part of all Apprenticeship programmes. It requires commitment from both the employer and the apprentice.

How much training does my apprentice need to do?

Apprentices must spend at least 20% of their employed time (excluding overtime) on off-the-job training. This can be structured flexibly – for example, as part of each day, one day per week, one week out of five, or as a block release. It really doesn’t matter how you structure it, so long as the apprentice achieves the total 20% requirement.

Does that mean they’ll need to spend a lot of time away from the workplace?

This is a common misconception – the name ‘off-the-job’ might suggest that the apprentice will need to spend a lot of time away, but in reality, it’s not the case.

We can deliver flexible options – such as at the apprentice’s usual place of work, an external location, one of our campuses or using online platforms.

What counts as off-the-job training?

The official line from the government is that off-the-job training is ‘any learning which is undertaken outside of the normal day-to-day working environment, which leads towards the achievement of an Apprenticeship’.

This might include:

  • teaching of theory via lectures, role-playing, simulations
  • online learning
  • assignment writing
  • inductions which include an educational element that provides some basis of the skills, knowledge and behaviours that are core to an Apprenticeship.

What doesn’t count as off-the-job training?

Off-the-job training doesn’t include:

  • English and Maths (up to Level 2). If these are required, they will be funded separately and we’ll work with you to plan the right approach.
  • attending progress reviews or on-programme assessments needed for the Apprenticeship.
  • training that takes place outside of the apprentice’s paid working hours.

Do I have to pay my apprentice for off-the-job training?

Yes. All off-the-job training should be arranged during their normal working hours, and they must be paid for it. If an apprentice takes part in off-the-job training outside of their normal working hours (for example, an evening webinar), the employer must allow them to take the time back in lieu.

How do I record time spent on off-the-job training?

At the start of the Apprenticeship, your Training Consultant will guide you through a ‘Commitment Statement’; this outlines how the programme will be delivered, and how the off-the-job training sessions will be structured. It is the responsibility of the apprentice to regularly update their time log in their online portfolio to reflect time spent on off-the-job training.

Still have a question about what to expect? No problem! Give us a call or drop us a line, we’d be happy to help.

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