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Apprentices Are Three Months Behind & Out Of Funding Thanks To COVID

Sun Sep 13 2020

The Association of Employment & Learning Providers has called on the Gov. to offer urgent aid to apprentices around the UK

To put the situation simply, The Association of Employment & Learning Providers is calling on the UK Government for help as during the coronavirus pandemic many apprentices couldn’t continue their training.

That’s why they’re now requesting the Government fund three months of ‘catch up cash’.

Many apprentices have made much slower progression in their courses during lockdown than hoped as remote learning hasn’t always been “as effective as face-to-face”, with many assessments been subject to delays.

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We hear stories of training providers doing everything they can to support apprentices even when the government funding has been switched off, but the government must step in now with more support to ensure no apprentice is unfairly disadvantaged

Jane Hickie - Managing Director Association of Employment & Learning Providers

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Many of the AELP’s member providers are reporting that the number of apprentices requiring more training due to COVID-19 interruptions is ‘spiralling steeply

That’s why they’re calling on the Government to provide extra funding, supporting a ‘catch-up period’.

Many were due to finish their apprenticeship this summer but due to lockdown and a lack of assessments have moved out of their ‘funded’ status and require at least three more months planned training.

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It would be too messy to provide the extra funding on a per apprentice basis. Something sensible and pragmatic to support all those apprentices in the cohort who have had their learning disrupted is needed. The three-month request is based on the impact in April, May and June specifically before lockdown was eased. Some apprentices might need more while some will need less.

Simon Ashworth - Chief Policy Officer, Association of Employment & Learning Providers

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When asked to comment, Government Minister Gillian Keegan released this statement:

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 I recognise Covid-19 has had a significant impact on apprentices, employers, training providers, and assessment organisations, which is why we introduced a range of flexibilities to ensure that apprenticeships could continue where possible. This included encouraging training providers to shift their training offer online so their students can continue their studies and so that providers are paid as normal, as well as making changes to end point assessments. We have also offered additional financial support to providers through our Provider Relief Schemes so they can continue to deliver high-quality training. Our Redundancy Support Service for Apprentices is  helping to make sure apprentices who have lost their jobs as a result of Covid-19 get the support they need to find a new opportunity and get on the path to a new career. We’re also considering how we can go further still to support redundant apprentices to complete their training and will announce further detail in the coming days.

Gillian Keegan - Apprenticeships And Skills Minister

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Sun Sep 13 2020

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