All new apprenticeship standards must include 20% off-the-job training. Seems a lot? Here we look at what exactly it is and explore some best practice for employers.

Off-the-job training is defined as learning which is undertaken outside of the normal day to-day working environment and leads towards the achievement of an apprenticeship. It isn’t restricted to classroom learning so provides the opportunity for employers and apprentices to be innovative, learn new skills and add value to not only apprentice roles but to the business.

The training can be delivered at the apprentice’s normal place of work, but it must not be part of their normal working duties.

It can include the teaching of theory such as online learning, practical training including industry visits, attendance at competitions, job shadowing and time spent writing assessments. Although, there are a few things that cannot be counted towards off-the-job training. This includes progress reviews and any training that takes place outside the apprentices’ paid working hours.

Here we break down the Top Myths about Off-The-Job Training

“Off-the-job training must be delivered by a provider in a classroom, at an external location”

This is not true. Off-the-job training can be delivered in a flexible way. This can be at the apprentice’s usual place of work, or at an external location. It can include for example, the teaching of theory, practical training and writing assignments. Providers have developed a range of delivery styles to suit employer and apprentice needs. Employers should work with them to decide when and where off-the-job training should take place and who is best placed to deliver it.

“My apprentice will spend a lot of time away from the workplace”

Apprenticeships are about upskilling an individual. Reaching occupational competency takes time. Many employers and apprentices have praised the positive effect off-the-job training has on their productivity and apprentices feel valued by the significant investment in their training. Off-the-job training must be away from the apprentice’s normal working duties and must teach new knowledge, skills and behaviours relevant to their specific apprenticeship. It can be delivered flexibly, for example, as a part of each day, one day per week, one week out of five or as block release. You may already have existing training programmes or materials you can use to deliver elements of the apprentice’s off-the-job training.

“English and maths counts towards the 20% requirement for off-the-job training”

This is not true: English and maths does not count towards the 20% off-the job training. Apprenticeships are about developing occupational competency and they are designed on the basis that the apprentice already has the required level (level 2) of English and maths. Training for English and maths must be on top of the 20% off-the-job training requirement.

For more information download the 'Top 5 Myths about 20% off The Job Training - Myths versus Facts Sheet', or contact a member of our team for expert training advice.

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