20% Off The Job Training

Posted: Wednesday, 23 May 2018 @ 09:14

A number of leading employers including several NHS Trusts, Pret A Manger and Rentokil are being put off Apprenticeship programmes by the imposition of a mandatory requirement for Apprentices to spend 20% of their programme “off the job”. This rule, employers claim, will limit their participation, their engagement and their appetite to fully embrace Apprenticeships.

Employers argue that the one size fits all approach is too prescriptive for all the different standards developed for their particular sectors. All elements of Apprenticeship programmes should reflect the employer’s specifications and employers themselves should decide what percentage of off the job training is required for each standard.

This particular rule could damage Apprenticeship recruitment if employers are turned off, thereby jeopardising the achievement of the government’s target of 3 million Apprenticeship starts.

A short hand definition of what 20% off the job means can simply be described in terms of 1 day per week however the guidance provided by the Department of Education (DFE), is less clear. The DFE define off the job training as “learning which is undertaken outside of the normal day to day working environment and can include training that is delivered at the Apprentice’s normal place of work but must not be delivered as part of their normal working duties. It is up to the employer and provider to decide at what point during the Apprenticeship the training is best delivered, nor does it have to be delivered in a set format. 

For training to count towards the 20% rule, it must teach new knowledge, skills and/or behaviour and be directly relevant to the Apprenticeship. Apart from the opposition by employers to a rigid 20 per cent rule the governments’ definition of what is off the job training is far from simple.

If employers are concerned about the 20% rule we can help in producing a practical and effective solution to this issue, call us on 0808 100 1155.