Understanding the #offthejob requirement

With the introduction of new apprenticeship standards in May of this year, requiring every apprentice to spend a minimum of 20% of their work time on off-the-job-training, there has been a genuine concern that taking an apprentice out of action for one day of the week is simply unfeasible and unaffordable adding pressure to already stretched organisations.

“The new rules state that 20% of an apprentice’s time should be used for off-the-job training – applying to all apprenticeships, new and old alike. We recently conducted a series of workshops with some of our key partners, and the fact that every apprentice, whether a new or existing employee, would be required – and closely monitored - by law to spend 20% of their time not doing their job was seen as a significant barrier to getting apprenticeships off the ground” said Jake Tween, Funding Manager at ILM.

To ensure both organisations and apprentices receive as much as possible from the time spent on this training, we need to recognise why the policy was brought about in the first place. We further need to understand what ‘off-the-job training’ is; when the right time to do it is; where it can take place and lastly, how we can monitor and provide evidence of the requirement.

Whilst we were designing our new ILM management apprenticeships, we became very familiar with the spirit behind the requirement and, together with guidance from DFE, we are confident that that it doesn’t need to be an obstacle, but in fact can rather be advantageous to both the apprentice and the organisation.

We saw the need for an understanding of this requirement, by organisations and apprentices alike, and created a guide explaining the requirement. Over the coming five weeks we aim to shed more understanding on the various key aspects with a weekly topic covered via a blog and weekly Twitter Q&A sessions. Follow and get involved in the conversation by using #offthejob or by following us on social media and signing up for the blog articles.

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