BREAKS IN LEARNING

Am I eligible to do a short course when put on a break in learning?


We encourage all apprentices to keep learning, however, wherever you can, it makes sense to focus on successful completion of your apprenticeship first. In the first instance, you can talk to your line manager about your options. Many employers (particularly the larger ones) may have online staff training easily available. This could be a good time to focus on gaining new skills and your apprenticeship provider may also be able to provide a potential source of options. Courses which are free, or involve self-directed study, may be an option – a YouTube search will provide you with lots of surprising and useful ideas.




If I did get an apprenticeship in the current climate when would I be starting?


You would need to talk to your employer and your training provider about this. Ultimately, it’s down to your employer as they pay your wages.




What if I must care for relatives and therefore can’t complete my work?


In the first instance discuss your caring responsibilities with your line manager and make sure that you don’t struggle and cope alone. You may still be able to continue your apprenticeship learning at home if your training provider can accommodate this through online or distance learning. If you feel you need it, you might also be able to take a short break in learning which doesn’t affect when you complete your apprenticeship.




What if I need to take a break in learning?


Please speak to your employer and training provider as soon as possible. They will be able to discuss all your options and support you to make the best decision. If a break in learning is required, your employer and training provider can help you to re-plan your end date if needed and agree when learning can start again. See answer to ‘Am I eligible to do a short course when put on a break in learning’ for further details.




What is a break in learning?


A break in learning involves ‘pausing’ an apprenticeship when there is an unplanned disruption to learning. There are many reasons for pausing and, if planned properly, it doesn’t have to affect successful completion of your apprenticeship.




Will I still get paid if I am furloughed?


Your employer will pay you 80% of your normal gross pay or £2,500 per month gross, whichever is the lower. The government scheme is due to run to the end of May 2020 but may be extended. It has been put in place to try and reduce businesses making employees redundant. Apprentices must be paid at least the Apprenticeship Minimum Wage, National Living Wage or National Minimum Wage as appropriate for all the time that is spent training. This means that your employer must cover any shortfall between the amount that they can claim for you and your appropriate minimum wage.




Can I continue with my apprenticeship?


For many apprentices, it will be entirely possible to continue your apprenticeship, even if you are working from home, but will depend on your circumstances. You will need to discuss this with your line manager and your training provider.




What happens if I get sick and can’t work?


If you are sick and cannot work, then you need to speak to your employer and follow the normal sickness absence guidelines and you will be entitled to your normal sick pay conditions. If your period of sickness extends beyond 4 weeks, then you may need to discuss a break in learning – see section on break in learning.





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