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Advice about apprenticeships during the Coronavirus pandemic

Apprenticeships are still very much available despite the pandemic and the government is offering enhanced cash incentives to employers who hire a new apprentice before the end of September..

Don’t forget 95% of training costs are paid for by the government, with just 5% from the employer. In some cases 100% funding is available, enabling employers to access training potentially worth thousands of pounds.

Apprenticeships still offer exceptional value for money, with some degree and master level apprenticeships costing a fraction of other higher level training options.

And apprentices can still receive training even if furloughed.

The Government has produced detailed guidance about Providing apprenticeships during the coronavirus outbreak. This document is for training providers, employers, assessment organisations and apprentices.  It describes:

  • the temporary flexibilities which have been applied during the coronavirus (COVD-19) outbreak.
  • how and when apprentices can safely train and undertake assessment in the workplace and educational and assessment settings

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Skills Hub

If you’re thinking of taking on an apprentice then the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Skills Hub can help with an independent, impartial and free skills review of your business. Call the team on 01209-708660 or request a callback here

Financial incentives for employers

Employers who hire a new apprentice before 30 September 2021 can claim additional financial incentives from the government. This is to help businesses and the economy recover from the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Employers can apply for a payment of £3,000 for new apprentices of any age who have an employment start date of  1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021.  They must have an apprenticeship start date of 1 April 2021 to 30 November 2021.

This payment is in addition to the existing £1,000 you’ll already get for taking on an apprentice who is:

  • aged 16 to 18 years old
  • under 25 and has an education, health and care plan or has been in the care of their local authority

Find out more about financial incentives for hiring a new apprentice or how apprenticeships are funded.

For employers in Cornwall, additional apprenticeship incentives may also be available to eligible employers, so its worth contacting us to find out if there is other funding you could apply for.  

Frequently asked questions – apprenticeships and coronavirus

Can I still recruit apprentices during a lockdown?

Yes, apprenticeship training providers are still operating and most have moved to online and virtual delivery models. You’ll want to ensure your apprentice will still receive sufficient mentoring and support to succeed in their new role and training, especially if some or all of their working time is spent working from home.  Contact us if you’d like any help or information with taking on a new apprentice.  

I have a member of staff who has undertaken a new job role or level of responsibility in my business due to Covid-19.  Can I use apprenticeship training to upskill/reskill them?

Yes, apprenticeships are open to anyone of any age and there are hundreds available at different levels from Level 2 (GCSE equivalent) to degree and masters level.  Contact us if you’d like any help or information with using apprenticeship training for existing staff, from entry level right through to senior management and leadership.   

I have an Apprentice who I wish to furlough. Can they continue with their training?

Yes, where a training provider can continue to deliver training remotely, an apprentice can continue their apprenticeship while furloughed.

My apprentice can’t currently attend their place of work. Can they continue their training?

The disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak could prevent apprentices continuing to learn. However, where it is still possible for learning to continue, for example from home, then we encourage this to happen as there benefits from carrying on with the apprenticeship during this time, including continued engagement and progression that can all be applied to the job once it is safe and practical to do so. Speak to your training provider if you have any concerns or questions about continuation of training.  

I am looking to take on an apprentice, can I take on an apprentice who has been made redundant by another employer?

Yes, we welcome contact from any employers who can offer a recently redundant apprentice or one at risk of redundancy a job to help them continue their study. Redundant Apprentices may already have many of the skills and knowledge to add value to your business.  You may still also be eligible to receive the employer incentive payments for taking on a redundant apprentice.  Either contact us or visit government’s Apprenticeship website.

My apprentice has more time at the moment to complete his/her off the job training.  Can I allow them to do more than one day a week of off the job training?  

Yes, as long as the 20% minimum off the job training over the length of the apprenticeship is still satisfied.  Speak to your training provider in the first instance.  

My apprentice is really missing their face to face apprenticeship training.  Is face to face training still possible?

Face-to-face training and assessment can continue in colleges and training providers’ premises for vulnerable young apprentices and the children of key workers who need it. Face-to-face training and assessment can also continue in employers’ covid-secure settings where it is essential for workers to attend their workplace, and where it is safe and practical to do so.  Please do speak to your training provider.  

I’m an apprentice and have just been made redundant.  What help is there?

In the first instance please contact your training provider to find out what help and advice they can provide.  You can also contact the national Redundancy Support Service on 08000 150 400 which is a free service for any apprentices who have been made redundant or feel that they are at risk of redundancy and want to continue their apprenticeship or start a new one. 

Posted on 28th Mar 2020 | admin


We have seen many employees progress through apprenticeships, giving us the opportunity to produce high quality engineers

Darren Etherington, Production Director at Watson-Marlow

The value that the apprentices have added to our business has paid this back many times over

Michelle Pearce, Practice Director, RRL accountants

Apprenticeships aren’t just entry level jobs for youngsters coming straight out of school – they’re fantastic opportunities for upskilling existing employees too

Publican Mark Holden, Victoria Inn

It is absolutely essential that new blood is developed for the Bakery industry which is best done via the apprenticeship route

Mark Norton, Managing Director at Prima Bakeries

Apprentices invigorate our crews and the new roles have created a lot of excitement within the Service

Kathryn Billing, Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety Service Group Manager