This Week's News 13.10.17

What is the off-the-job training requirement for apprentices?

From 1st May 2017, the Education, Skills and Funding Agency (ESFA) requires all employers of apprentices to provide 20 per cent of their apprentices' working hours on training.  This applies to apprentices on all frameworks and standards.

The percentage is calculated on the basis of an apprentice's contracted hours of work, spread over the duration of their apprenticeship. So, if the apprenticeship lasts 24 months and the apprentice has an employment contract for seven hours a day, five days a week, for 46 weeks a year, that adds up to a total of 3,220 contracted hours over the two years. The minimum amount of time they should spend in off-the-job training would be 644 hours, or the equivalent of one day per working week. This does not have to be undertaken at set times and the ESFA says: "It is up to the employer and provider to decide at what point during the apprenticeship the training is best delivered." Nor does the off-the-job training have to be delivered in a set format.

For off-the-job training to count towards the 20 per cent rule, it must teach "new knowledge, skills and/or behaviours that will contribute to the successful achievement of an apprenticeship". It must also be "directly relevant to the apprenticeship" and could include teaching of theory, practical training or time spent completing assignments. Training can be carried out at the apprentice's normal workstation, as long as they are learning new skills - "it is the activity, rather than the location" that counts. And some, but not all, off-the-job training can be delivered via distance learning. Training that the apprentice does in their own time can only count towards the 20 per cent if the apprentice is given time off in lieu. Progress reviews can't be counted and any English and maths support doesn't count either.

What does 20% equate to?

40 hour week = 8 hours per week off-the-job training
37 hour week = 7.5 hours (rounded up from 7.4)
35 hour week = 7 hours
30 hour week = 6 hours

What is meant by 'off-the-job-training'?

Off-the-job training is 'outside of normal working duties'. However, it's acknowledge that it is possible to be undergoing training activities outside of normal working duties while being physically at the usual workstation. For example, being taught how to use straighteners. Off-the-job training is a combination of practical, work-based learning with technical and theoretical learning.

What can be counted towards the 20% off-the-job training rule?

Practical Training Teaching Theory Written Exercises
Practise on head blocks
Attendance at competitions
Industry visits
Work shadowing
Formal learning sessions
Manufacturer's training
Online learning
Role plays
Completion of written tasks
Revision for written tests

What can't be counted towards the 20%?

English and maths must be on top of the training requirement so that can't be counted, although the ESFA says: "employers are encouraged to help develop these skills in the workplace to consolidate learning". The ESFA also views training as being distinct from assessment. That means, time spent on assessments can't be counted either.

How should these hours be recorded?

All apprentices have a Learning Log which can be used to record the hours they spend training in the salon and what the training covered. ITS has always recorded how many hours have been spent on in-salon training when we make salon visits - the only change is that you need to make sure your apprentices record all of it in their Learning Log.

Who's going to check that Apprentices do the required amount of training?

The requirement for all apprenticeships to include a minimum number of hours for off-the-job training is included in the ESFA funding rules. Compliance with this requirement will therefore be considered as part of normal audit arrangements for ITS and for partner salons. It is likely that Ofsted will take an interest in whether apprentices are receiving the amount off-the-job training to which they are entitled.

Do ITS visits count towards the off-the-job training hours?

Yes but we need to be careful that time spent on assessments, English and maths are not counted towards the total.

What if an apprentice does more hours in one week and less in another?

That is to be expected and is permitted. The hours will be worked out 'pro-rata' meaning that the hours will be calculated as a share of the total amount. Across a 4-week period the off-the-job training hours might look like this:

Weekly Working Hours Off-the-job training hours required every 4 weeks Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Actual off-the-job training hours per month
40 32 8 5.5 8.5 10 32
37 30 7.5 8 7.5 7 30
35 28 6 7 7 8 28
30 24 6 6 6 6 24

Can the pro-rata off-the-job training hours be worked out across a longer period?

We want this new requirement to work for you so we will be as flexible as possible. Across a 3-month period, the total off-the-job training hours might look like this:

Weekly Working Hours Off-the-job training hours required per quarter Month 1 Month 2 Month 3 Actual off-the-job training hours for 3 months
40 96 30 34 32 96
37 90 25 35 30 90
35 84 24 32 28 84
30 72 10 38 24 72

Over a 12-month period, the total off-the-job training hours might look like this:

Weekly Working Hours Off-the-job training hours required over 12 months Quarter 1 Quarter 2 Quarter 3 Quarter 4 Actual off-the-job training hours over 12 months
40 384 96 96 90 102 384
37 360 70 110 65 115 360
35 252 84 94 84 74 336
30 288 70 65 135 18 288

Read the guidance

End Point Assessment (EPA) Services

City & Guilds new EPA page is up and running with associated forms and information about becoming an end point assessment centre click here.

Barely half of eligible employers are on the levy system

Scarcely half of eligible employers have signed up to use the government's apprenticeships system, new statistics published today suggest. Just 10,500 apprenticeship service accounts were registered on the system by the end of August - well short of the estimated 19,150 levy-paying companies that are eligible to use the service. The apprenticeships and skills minister Anne Milton admitted earlier this week that she was 'flabbergasted' to learn that many large companies were unaware of the levy, even though they were paying it.

Careers advice in schools must be 'completely more focussed on skills in every way'

Schools that fail to send pupils into apprenticeships should lose some of their pupil premium funding, the chair of the education select committee has said. Robert Halfon, who is also a former apprenticeships minister, told a fringe event at the Conservative conference that the government should consider financial incentives to encourage schools to promote apprenticeships. He said the government's long-awaited careers strategy needs to be 'completely focused on skills in every way', and that schools needed a 'carrot and stick'. This should include toughening Ofsted's approach, he said, but also a focus on "financial grants that go to schools". "We should look at things like the pupil premium and whether or not certain parts of it can be based or dependent on how many students they get, especially from deprived backgrounds, to go into high-quality apprenticeships," he said.

Removal of indecent images from the internet

Home Secretary Amber Rudd, has announced £600,000 investment in Project Arachnide, a new technology that allows internet companies to identify and remove indecent images of children from the internet.

New teacher degree apprenticeship standards announced

Degree apprenticeships combine higher education study with paid work, so trainees spend part of their time studying and part of their time at an employer typically spending one day a week in university, and four days in paid employment. Education Secretary Justine Greening said that the apprenticeship route into teaching, which would not require a degree before starting, would give "parity of esteem" to vocational routes. However, the Department for Education subsequently informed the Chartered College of Teaching that no teacher would become qualified without a degree. It is not yet clear whether this is because the degree given at the end of an apprenticeship would suffice for qualified status, or whether another postgraduate level period of study will also be required. A new National Institute of Education is being set up to run courses helping schools use the money they pay into the apprenticeship levy. Since May 2017, many larger schools have paid money into the government's apprenticeship levy, and those that have can then claim funding back in order to pay for apprenticeship training for their staff. However, schools have complained about a lack of available courses, although we now know the teaching apprenticeship is in planning.

Reminder - PSN meeting 17th October

The PSN meeting is next week and we just wanted to remind you.

What time?
Registration and refreshments from 5.30 pm. Meeting 6.00 pm - 8.30 pm

School of Management Building, University of Surrey, Stag Hill Campus, Guildford, GU2 7XH

If you haven't already done so, please RSVP to ten/dtl-sti//ofni. The agenda is available here.


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