Subject Areas Course Search

COVID 19 – Employer/Apprentice Information

Page reviewed; 7th January 2021

For the latest college-wide updates please see our news page or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

Following the Prime Ministers announcement on the evening of 4th January, all apprentice learning will be undertaken remotely until further notice and both Leek and Buxton Campus’ will remain closed.

We will update this page with any further information as and when it becomes available.

Apprentices should continue to keep their assessor updated on changes to their employment, such as being put on furlough. 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/

APPRENTICESHIP INCENTIVE PAYMENTS

The Government has announced extra incentive payments for businesses who hire an apprentice between 1st August 2020 and 31st March 2021.

Key information;

  • This incentive is for new apprentices who have not previously worked for your business in the previous 6 months
  • The apprentice must be signed-up 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
  • The incentive is claimed by the business via the online digital account service, if you have not used this service before we can help you with accessing it
  • There is no limit to the number of apprentices you hire but you must ensure you have the capacity for them
  • 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 grant is also available to businesses that employ an apprentice who has been made redundant from their apprenticeship. Full information can be found HERE

Please note that the kickstart wage rebate does not apply to apprentices.

Government Business Support

To find out what financial support your business may be entitled to the government has made a questionnaire form available which can be found HERE.

For businesses located in Derbyshire, you can search your available business support grants by region/borough HERE

For businesses based in Staffordshire, information on available assistance from local government can be found HERE

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

The furlough scheme for closed businesses has been extended to the end of April 2021, Rishi Sunak explains here:-

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

Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to create new job placements for 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment. This scheme cannot be accessed for apprenticeships however you can progress participants onto an apprenticeship at the end of their placement if you so wish, you should continue paying the same wage (or more) if you choose to do this.

Employers of all sizes can apply for funding which covers:

Employers can spread the start date of the job placements up until the end of December 2021.

A Kickstart Scheme application must be for a minimum of 30 job placements however Buxton & Leek College is acting as a Kickstart Gateway whereby we partner with the business to act as an intermediary, this allows small and medium enterprises who cannot offer 30 or more placements to access the kickstart scheme. For more information or to register your interest in working with us to access the scheme please email feapprenticeships@blc.ac.uk.

Further funding is available for training and support so that young people on the scheme can get a job in the future.

Helpful articles

Business Matters: Set your businesses on the road to recovery following Covid-19 – Click Here

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.