We have an apprentice who left programme 2 months ago and we closed him down on the ILR as a leaver. He has now contacted us informing us he would now like to go back onto the apprenticeship as he has now found a new employer who has helped him enjoy his owrk again and has enticed him to remain in the industry. My question is ‘ can the apprentice restart his programme and if so would he be classed as a restart as he left programme during the funding year?
The learner was progressing really well at the time and was ahead of schedule on OTJ hours and ahead of his Predicted End Date.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
May 21, 2020 at 6:25 pm #445680
- This topic was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by TomB1121.
Previously, I would always have said yes as long as you code as a restart and do not attempt to claim over funding band maximum (unless employer is paying anything over and above). I would’ve restarted with the planned end date being realistic for the learner, providing they satisfied minimum duration over both episodes of learning.
However, I’m sure I’ve seen other threads on here where they’ve been told by auditors/ESFA that if they to restart, they will have to be in learning and have 20% OTJ for a minimum of a further 12 months. Which to
me basically means that if they do not need the full 12 months of training as they have RPL from previous episode, then they ate ineligible and cannot resume a funded programme.
So, I’m unsure and would be keen to hear from others on this
ThanksMay 21, 2020 at 7:51 pm #445689
That’s correct. If he had over a year to go, yes, he can start again. You can code as a restart, but you shouldn’t use the Original Start Date.
If he had less than a year to go, you can’t claim funding for the remainder. He wouldn’t fall into any of the categories that exempt someone from the 365 day minimum duration (P44 of the provider Apprenticeship Funding Rules), and we’ve been expressly told by ESFA that we cannot artificially extend durations.
It has been raised with ESFA multiple times. The only concession they made, was to introduce a 30 day window in which an apprentice can be unemployed, and still allowed to continue (P264 of the rules). If the gap is longer than 30 days, and there is less than a year to go on the apprenticeship, you won’t be able to get funding for them to restart. In that situation, you can choose to let him restart for free, or you could pick a different pathway/framework/standard.May 26, 2020 at 9:37 am #446420
And the ESFA has the cheek to demand from Providers why the QAR data is so poor! This goes totally against a large number of learners who move employers in their last year of an Apprenticeship and do not start with the new employer within the 30 days.May 26, 2020 at 9:58 am #446425
Thanks for the help.
What would happen if they did move to new employer within 30 days, however, were withdrawn on the ILR in 18/19 (July end date) as new employer didn’t want to fund/contribute? However, they later do agree, and provider therefore wanted to record as a restart in 19/20?
Or if they withdrew for another reason previously (for example, the learner just didn’t want to continue for whatever reason). However, a few months down the line they change their mind and want to restart.
I presume in both of these examples, if there is less than 12 months remaining we wouldn’t be able to restarts on funded programme?
Thanks againMay 26, 2020 at 10:11 am #446431
Yes, there are no concessions for any circumstances like that. It does say they have to have found employment within 30 days, it doesn’t actually say they have to have started, but since you manage this with a BIL, you’d need evidence of learning on their new start date.
Trying to find apprentices a new employer right now is extremely challenging. Apprentices leave employers for a lot of really good reasons that aren’t redundancy, but there is little recognition of that fact. Sometimes they’ve already quit before they speak to us and we can explain the repurcussions on their education, they just assume they can carry on elsewhere in future. If they were on a framework, it might be easy enough to switch to a similar Standard where you can RPL, but once we’re fully on Standards, you can’t even switch pathways, there will be nowhere to go. If they switch provider, they might come under the minimum duration exception in P44.3 “Transfers between main providers, but remains on the same framework or standard”.May 26, 2020 at 5:35 pm #446520
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