Insights Off-The-Job Apprenticeship Training: What You Need to Know
27 June 2017

Off-The-Job Apprenticeship Training: What You Need to Know


Increasingly, employers in England are encouraging their existing employees to pursue apprenticeship training – in addition to ‘entry level’ recruits. This follows huge changes in the apprenticeship sector, which have been designed to ensure the country’s workforce has the necessary skills to thrive.

Under government rules, all apprenticeships in England must include 20% ‘off-the-job’ training. For employers, releasing valuable staff for this amount of time might feel an onerous commitment. However, many different types of development count towards this 20% commitment – from learning theory and receiving practical training to spending time on assignments.

Here are just some of the ways you can develop your employees off-the-job, with minimum disruption to your business:

Day release

Probably the most well-known type of apprenticeship training, day release typically involves employees spending four days a week in the workplace, and one day with a training provider. Alternatively, some employers and employees prefer ‘block release’ – where staff mostly work five days a week and participate in longer periods of training across the year.

Training staff on-site

Under apprenticeship funding rules, you must use an organisation on the register of apprenticeship training providers (RoATP). If you have several employees completing an apprenticeship, a good provider should be able to offer training at your company premises, as well as on their own site. Together you can choose the format and frequency of on-site training, designing it around your business needs.

Distance learning

Advances in technology mean that distance learning has never been easier. Employees can develop their skills from the comfort of their work desk, home or even coffee shops. From taking part in virtual seminars to participating in group work with peers across the country, this counts towards off-the-job training - as long as you can demonstrate time spent on 'at screen' learning is not part of normal work duties.

However, it's important to know that under government rules, apprenticeships must include other types of training as well as distance learning. There has to be a blend.

Evening and weekends

Time spent developing skills outside of normal work hours can count towards apprenticeship training – as long as employers give employees time off in lieu. For example, attending breakfast or evening seminars held by professional membership organisations is a popular way of developing skills and professional knowledge.

Industry-based learning

Activities like work shadowing, mentoring, industry visits and attendance at skills competitions can all count towards off-the-job apprenticeship training. What’s important is that employees keep a record of these development opportunities.

To find out more about off-the-job apprenticeship training, developing your workforce and sources of funding, contact us today or call 0800 3891 999.