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Apprenticeships during the COVID-19 crisis

Employment & Personnel - May 7th, 2020

With everyone except key workers being encouraged to work from home, this has had ramifications. It’s also brought into question issues concerning apprenticeships, both for employers and apprentices.

Work is one of the areas that has been affected the most through the lockdown introduced to try and stem the coronavirus pandemic. With everyone except key workers being encouraged to work from home, this has had major ramifications. It’s also brought into question certain issues concerning apprenticeships, both for employers and apprentices themselves.

Obviously, the ideal is for as many apprenticeships as possible to carry on if possible, albeit in ways that meet the guidelines now in force. Therefore, certain flexibilities have been introduced which, in turn, have given rise to a number of questions.

You will find detailed information from the Education and Skills Funding Agency if you follow this link which covers all of these areas.


For apprentices

  • The flexibilities that are being introduced to enable furloughed apprentices to carry on with their training and work. This excludes the sort of work that directly benefits or generates income for the employer.
  • If you are ready for your assessment, but this becomes impossible due to the lockdown, the arrangements that can be made to reschedule. If this can’t be done within the originally-agreed timeframe, you will be able to have this extended to allow for it.
  • Advice on how to make a record of the breaks in learning so that there is no interruption or disruption to the funding that you are due to receive.
  • The arrangements that are in place for apprentices who have been made redundant, including a commitment to find alternative training and employment for you within 12 weeks.


For employers/training providers

  • The encouragement and support being given to facilitate training through e-learning and other means.
  • Modifying and adapting the nature of end-point assessments. For example, it may be possible to conduct some assessments remotely with the objective helping apprentices to continue to progress with their training.
  • Allowing for a break in training to take place in the event of the disruption to normal circumstances lasting for more than four weeks.


These are just a few of the many topics that are covered here. There is also a very useful FAQ section that should answer the great majority of questions. If you feel that, as either an apprentice or an employer, you might need any further legal advice, at Eatons we have a number of experts in employment law. While our offices are closed, we are available by phone or online via Skype, Zoom and numerous other platforms.

To make full use of our services simply contact your nearest Eatons office or email us at and we will get back to you as soon as possible to take things further.


DISCLAIMER: the contents of this article and any documents on our website are not intended to constitute legal advice but are intended for general information purposes only. We are not responsible for any loss resulting from acts or omissions taken in respect of the content presented herein. Please see our legal and regulatory information, privacy and terms policy on our website.