COVID-19: Advice for Apprentices
We understand that things are different at the moment, but NTU remains committed to supporting apprentices and employers in building the skills and capabilities the country needs. On this page you can find guidance and advice on your apprenticeship during the pandemic.
You can also contact us by:
- emailing our NTU Apprenticeships Team or calling them on +44 (0)115 848 2589
- emailing Student Support Services
- calling our dedicated helpline on +44 (0)115 941 8418, open 8 am – 6 pm, Monday to Friday.
Change in circumstances
Find information and guidance on what factors could affect your apprenticeships and support that is available to you.
If you're unable to continue with your apprenticeship at the moment, you should talk to your employer and the Apprenticeships team at NTU.
A break in learning
A break in learning is where the apprenticeship is disrupted for longer than four weeks. The break must be reported and the payment of funding to the training provider will be suspended for the duration of that break. This results in the apprenticeship end date being re-scheduled when you return, considering the duration of your break.
If learning is disrupted for a period of less than four weeks, there is no change to the payment of funding or the apprenticeship end date.
The appropriate steps that are agreed are based on you and your employer's situation.
If you need to self-isolate, please discuss your options with your employer and the Apprenticeships team:
- accessing NTU's online learning
- a short pause in your apprenticeship of less than four weeks while you are in self-isolation
- a formal break in learning of four weeks or more
- re-scheduling planned assessment activity.
Any appropriate steps are agreed based on you and your employer's situation.
Working from home
If you can fulfil your role while working from home and can access the University’s online learning, then your apprenticeship can continue. Your course leader may get in contact if there are different arrangements for the delivery of your apprenticeship.
Otherwise, your options are:
- a short pause if it is likely that your apprenticeship can resume in less than four weeks, and you will still be able to complete your apprenticeship by the planned end date
- a formal break in learning of four weeks or more, which will result in the planned end date of your apprenticeship being re-scheduled upon returning.
Please contact your employer and the NTU Apprenticeships team to agree the appropriate steps for your circumstances.
Whether you work in the place of employment or from home, please continue to record your off-the-job training activity using PebblePad. If your circumstances change because of COVID-19, so that the minimum 20% off-the-job training cannot be met, you will need to discuss your options with your employer and the NTU Apprenticeships team.
NTU provide online learning for most of its apprenticeships. Your course leader will be in contact if there are different arrangements for the delivery of your apprenticeship. Please contact the Apprenticeships team to discuss your options.
Reduced time for learning
Apprentices can engage with learning at a convenient time within their agreed work hours via NTU online learning. Your course leader may get in contact if there are different arrangements for the delivery of your apprenticeship.
If you are struggling to engage in learning, your options are:
- a short pause in your learning of less than four weeks and continuing with your planned end date
- a formal break in learning of four weeks or more, with a new planned end date upon your return.
New roles and promotions
Please talk to you employer and the NTU Apprenticeships team to agree the appropriate steps for continuing your apprenticeship. If your job move becomes permanent, contact the Apprenticeships team to discuss your options.
Your pay as an apprentice
Find out who talk to about your pay if the Coronavirus pandemic has impacted your apprenticeship and guidance on what you can to do if you're unable to work or have been furloughed
You should first refer any queries around terms and conditions, including wages, to your employer. You may also find the relevant information on the ACAS website.
If you’re placed on unpaid leave (not including furlough) or the nature of your employment changes and no longer supports your apprenticeship, then you, the employer and the training provider should consider whether a break in learning would be appropriate.
You can contact the NTU Apprenticeships team to discuss your individual circumstances.
Pay when you're unable to work
As an apprenticeship is a job with training, you are still employed. You are still paid in line with the details in your employment contract.
We suggest speaking to your employer about their policies on pay. The government is providing a range of support to employers to help them retain and pay their employees (including apprentices) during the pandemic.
If you are furloughed, you can continue with your apprenticeships through various channels.
NTU's online learning
You can continue your apprenticeship by accessing NTU's online learning as long as your employer is paying the appropriate minimum wage for the time you spend training. They must cover any shortfall between the amount they claim for your wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and your appropriate minimum wage.
The NTU Apprenticeships team will contact your employer to confirm that all appropriate furlough rules are being met while you continue your training.
Training through volunteering
Training through volunteering is classes as apprenticeship off-the-job training. If you are furloughed, you can take part in volunteer work or training as long as it does not provide services to or generate revenue for or on behalf of your employer.
Training through the employer
Where training is requested by the employer during your furlough period, you’re entitled to be paid at least the appropriate minimum wage for this time. In most cases, the furlough payment of 80% of a worker’s wage, up to the value of £2,500, should provide sufficient monies to cover these training hours. However, where the furlough payment does not meet the appropriate minimum wage for the time spent training, employers must pay the additional wages.
Redundancy or your apprenticeship coming to an early end
Please speak to the NTU Apprenticeships team if you are at risk of or have been made redundant, as your apprenticeship training may be able to continue depending on your circumstances:
- Apprentices who are made redundant within six months of the final day of their practical period may continue training without being employed under an apprenticeship agreement.
- Apprentices who are made redundant more than six months before their final day may continue training for 12 weeks without being employed under an apprenticeship agreement.
We will support you in finding alternative employment where possible to continue your apprenticeship.
Access to Universal Credit
Universal Credit may be available as long you meet the other conditions of the entitlement (including that the applicant and their partner have under £16,000 in savings between them). Apprentices may be entitled to Universal Credit under the following circumstances:
- during a period of unpaid leave
- even if working and being paid
- if laid off or on a lesser number of hours.
Apprentices on unpaid leave may also be eligible for other benefits.
Assessments and reviews
Find out about your tri-partite reviews meetings and End-Point Assessments.
Tri-partite review meetings
Tri-partite review meetings will be held virtually, as they already are in part. Your NTU workplace tutor will be in contact to book your review meetings.
End-Point Assessments (EPA)
You should be employed when you are taking your EPA, so please speak to your employer and the NTU Apprenticeships team if you have taken a break in learning, or the planned end date of your apprenticeship has changed.
If you are due to complete your apprenticeship within the next six months, the NTU Apprenticeships team will be in touch to discuss arrangements for your end-point assessment. If you are furloughed, you can still take your EPA providing that you meet the conditions for furloughed apprentices.