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Disruption to Training Means Apprentices Need Extra Support, Says AELP

Disruption to Training Means Apprentices Need Extra Support, Says AELP
09 September 2020

Urgent action is required to help young people whose training has been cut short by COVID-19, according to the Association of Employment and Learning Providers.

The association is urging the Department for Education to provide additional “catch up funding” to reflect the loss of training and additional extra support apprentices will require to mitigate the impact of the lockdown, particularly felt during April, May and June.

The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) proposals will be debated today with government officials at the online AELP Business Recovery Conference.  Keynote speakers include Skills Minister Gillian Keegan, Shadow Skills Minister Toby Perkins, West Midlands Mayor Andy Street and Deputy London Mayor Jules Pipe.


“The end of the furlough scheme and the likely impact on young apprentices losing their jobs are very worrying.  So why not use the example of Kickstart and start subsidising the wages of those affected?”

–Jane Hickie

Managing Director, AELP


Reducing the Number of Potentially Redundant Apprentices


The AELP has reported that, due to COVID-19, widespread disruption to planned training and delays in assessments at the end of programmes mean that many apprentices’ programmes have gone or will go beyond their planned end-dates and so the government funding for them has either stopped or will run out.

As a solution, AELP has called for additional ‘catch-up funding’ from the government to support an extension of an affected apprentice’s programme by up to 3 months.

AELP’s COVID recovery package for skills points out that there have been no specific measures put in place to protect apprentices from the threat of redundancy when the furlough scheme ends. 

To reduce the number of apprentices becoming unemployed, AELP is arguing that the government should introduce a new wage subsidy for young apprentices aged 16 to 24 targeted specifically at those who have been on furlough and are returning to their programmes.


Adult Workers Also Under Threat from Losing Access to Their Learning


Employed adult learners at risk of redundancy or working their notice cannot continue to study in the workplace and be government-funded under current rules.  So even if their employer is willing and wants to support their departing employee to prepare for a new role after redundancy, they cannot be funded. 

AELP therefore recommends that the Education and Skills Funding Agency should amend the funding rules to allow employed learners at risk of redundancy on Adult Education Budget programmes to be able to continue to study in the workplace and continue to be funded for it.

These proposals are among seven key recommendations in AELP’s “Targeted Autumn Covid-19 Recovery Package for Skills.”

AELP’s Managing Director Jane Hickie said:

“We hear stories of training providers doing everything they can to support apprentices even when the government funding has been switched off, but the government must step in now with more support to ensure no apprentice is unfairly disadvantaged.

“The end of the furlough scheme and the likely impact on young apprentices losing their jobs are very worrying.  So why not use the example of Kickstart and start subsidising the wages of those affected?”

Picture: A photograph showing two people at a work bench

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 09 September 2020


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