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How does off-the-job training work?

Whether it’s practical activity, professional discussion, theoretical, or a written assignment, off-the-job training is hugely valuable for both the employer and apprentice.



Investing in the apprentice’s development ensures they feel valued, while enhancing their productivity – and the impact they can make within your organisation.

But how does it work in practice?

Your apprentice will be trained to succeed in their chosen occupation Apprentices are taught new knowledge and skills to achieve occupational competence. This will help them to make a noticeable impact within your organisation. Training is designed on the basis that the apprentice already has the required level of English and maths (level 2), so any such training will not count towards the 20% off-the-job training requirement.

All training takes place within normal working hours An apprenticeship is a work-based programme, so all off-the-job training must take place within the apprentice’s normal working hours (excluding overtime). If planned off-the-job training does not take place, it must be rearranged. Apprentices may choose to spend additional time training outside paid hours, but this must not be required for them to complete the apprenticeship

It can be delivered flexibly to suit your organisation

An apprentice must spend at least 20% of their time completing off-the-job training – but you can work with your training provider to decide when, where and how it’s delivered. It could take place at the apprentice’s usual place of work or at an external location; as part of each day, a day a week, one week out of five or as block release. You might even have existing training programmes or materials you can use. It’s important that training is delivered away from the apprentice’s working duties, teaching new knowledge, skills and behaviours required for their specific apprenticeship.

Not sure if an activity counts as off-the-job training?

As a rule of thumb, an activity should count towards off-the-job training if you can answer ‘yes’ to all these questions:

  1. Is the person signed up to the apprenticeship programme?

  2. Is the activity directly relevant to the apprenticeship?

  3. Is the activity teaching new knowledge, skills and behaviours?

  4. Is the learning taking place in the apprentice’s paid working hours?

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