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COVID 19 – Employer/Apprentice Information

Page reviewed; 24th March 2021

Latest NEWs

The latest information on our return to campus plans can be found here: – FAQS – RETURNING TO CAMPUS FROM 8TH MARCH 2021

Updates will also be shared on our news page and through social media 
Facebook Twitter Linkedin Instagram

Apprentices should continue to keep their assessor updated on changes to their employment, such as being furloughed. Please make sure you keep in touch with your employer, being furloughed does not mean you cannot speak to your employer about arrangements such as being paid, returning to work etc.

For college covid reporting please follow this link; https://www.blc.ac.uk/covid-19-guidance/

EMPLOyER INFORMATION

Hiring apprentices who have been made redundant

Boost your organisation by filling key skill gaps with experienced apprentices. From developing creative talent to strengthening practical know-how, apprenticeships are a great way to give your organisation a competitive edge. The government has put in to place a special service to advertise roles specifically to apprentices who have previously been made redundant, for more information contact us at feapprenticeships@blc.ac.uk.

APPRENTICESHIP INCENTIVE PAYMENTS

The Government has announced extra incentive payments for businesses who hire an apprentice between 1st August 2020 and 30th September 2021, this includes apprentices who have previously been made redundant.

Key information;

For apprentice starts between 1st August 2020 and 31st March 2021: –

  • For 16-24-year-old apprentices, the incentive is £2,000
  • For 25 and over apprentices the incentive is £1,500

For apprentice starts between 1st April 2021 and September 2021: –

  • The incentive is £3,000 irrespective of the apprentices’ age

In both date ranges the following criteria apply: –

  • This incentive is for new apprentices who have not previously worked for your business in the previous 6 months
  • There is no limit to the number of apprentices you hire but you must ensure you have the capacity for them
  • The apprentice must be studying an approved apprenticeship standard through a registered training provider, such as our college
  • This incentive is in addition to the existing apprentice employer grant of £1,000 for 16-18-year-old apprentices or apprentices 19-24 years old with an Education Health & Care plan
  • The incentive is claimed by the business via the online digital account service, if you have not used this service before please see our handy guide for more information on setting your business up and using the service: –

The grant is also available to businesses that employ an apprentice who has been made redundant from their apprenticeship. Full information can be found HERE

Government Business Support

A useful questionnaire has been released by the government to help you find out what help your business can get: – https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder 

Locally managed business support 

For businesses located in Derbyshire: – https://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/social-health/health-and-wellbeing/health-protection/disease-control/coronavirus/employers-businesses/employers-and-businesses.aspx

For businesses located in Staffordshire: – https://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/Business/Coronavirus-COVID-19-support-for-businesses/Coronavirus-COVID-19-support-for-businesses.aspx

District and borough councils have made available over £5m of support to help businesses with the impact of covid-19. Any funds allocated can be used for financial support to re-open, financial support to grow your business, start-up costs or training costs including apprenticeships. 

Find out more and apply – http://bit.ly/5millionscheme  

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Extended 80% furlough due to the new lockdown across England.

The furlough scheme has been extended, Rishi Sunak explains:-

(please note this video has not been updated to include the details of the budget announcement on 3rd March 2021, the furlough scheme has been extended to September 2021) 

More information about paying your apprentice whilst furloughed can also be found here; Paying your furloughed apprentice 

The flexible furlough scheme remains available if your business is not completely closed. This scheme allows you to bring employees back to work on a part-time basis whilst still claiming furlough for the hours they would usually work but are not due to a covid-19 related downturn in trade. You have to pay your employees 100% of their wage for any hours they actually work.

More information can be found here; https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

Apprentice information

Please ensure you are clearly communicating with your employer and assessor of your current circumstances such as; isolating, showing symptoms of covid etc.

redundancy
BLC are here to support you if you have been or are at risk of being made redundant, there is also a new National Apprenticeship Support Service the helpdesk phone number to access this is 0800 015 0400.
Apprentices can also complete this form to access information about employers offering placements to redundant or at-risk of redundancy apprentices.
Apprenticeship funding and completing your apprenticeship

There are qualifying criteria that you must meet in order to continue with your apprenticeship when you have lost your placement or been made redundant, please see below for more information you can also discuss with your assessor.

(ESFA; Education & Skills Funding Agency)

Apprentice circumstances:

You are within 6 months of the final day of training.

Funding

100% ESFA of the remaining costs.

Within this 6-month period:

  • If you find a new employer, the new employer will assume any outstanding liabilities and benefits from that point. Note; some employers they may be eligible for full government funding dependant on circumstances.
  • If you take a job that is not related to your apprenticeship, the ESFA funding will still apply and you will be able to complete your apprenticeship.

Apprentice circumstances:

You are between 6 months and 12 months of the final day of training.

Funding:

ESFA funding will be available for a maximum of 12 weeks.

Within this 12-week period:

  • If you find a new employer where you can complete your apprenticeship, the new employer assumes outstanding liabilities and benefits from that point. Note; some employers may be eligible for full government funding dependant on circumstances.
  • If you take a job that is not related to your apprenticeship, ESFA funding will remain in place for up to 12 weeks.
  • If a new employer is not found within 12 weeks, you will be withdrawn from the programme but you can return to the same apprenticeship at a later date, without the need to satisfy the 12-month minimum duration rule. Meaning you can pick up where you left the apprenticeship.

Apprentice circumstances:

If you are more than 12 months away from the final day of training.

Funding:

ESFA funding will be available for a maximum of 12 weeks.

Within this 12-week period:

  • If you find a new employer where you can complete your apprenticeship, the new employer assumes outstanding liabilities and benefits from that point. Note; some employers may be eligible for full government funding dependant on circumstances.
  • If you take a job that is not related to your apprenticeship, the ESFA will continue to fund for up to 12 weeks.
  • If a new employer is not found within 12 weeks, you will be withdrawn from the programme. You can return at a later date to complete your apprenticeship but you would need to be on programme for a minimum of 12 months.

Apprentices aged 19 or over are able to claim Universal Credit benefits provided your apprenticeship training is 16 hours or less per week. Some under 19 apprentices maybe be eligible for Universal Credit in special circumstances, find out more here; https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit

For more information on any aspects of your apprenticeship please email feapprenticeships@blc.ac.uk 

Please direct all enquiries to your assessor in the first instance, if you are unable to contact them for any reason please email feapprenticeships@blc.ac.uk If you require a call back please ensure to include a phone number.