We have one area of concern regarding the 20% off the job learning and this stems from reading the latest version of the funding rules
Version 6 of the funding rules has brought more clarity around the 20% off the job training in April – the main addition being the example of how this is calculated and the inclusion of annual leave entitlement because it is paid time, so the key points are:
• ‘Paid working hours’ have changed to ‘paid hours’ to recognise periods of leave
• Eligible off-the-job training can only take place “during the apprentice’s normal working hours
• Calculation based on 52 weeks – example shows that the ESFA is including annual leave entitlement – something they have never explicitly said. By including annual leave (when the apprentices is clearly not available to engage in off the job training) it means more than 20% will need to be delivered in the working weeks. For someone employed for 40 hours a week the employer and provider needs to be able to evidence 416 of off the job training for each year of the apprenticeship.
Please could someone clarify if we have understood this right and if so, what are other providers planning to do in terms of ensuring time missed whilst learners are on annual leave is considered?
The ESFA did original specify that it was 20% of contracted hours and the clarification in V6 was required as some had interpreted this to mean working hours and excluded holidays from their calculations.
Given that this does not include the Maths/English requirement this would indicate that 1 day a week would be insufficient for those who are contracted at more than 30 hours and this would especially be the case for Colleges who only operate a 36 week academic year unless off the training in the workplace makes a significant contribution to the total hours.