Educating Beyond The Classroom

Educating Beyond The Classroom

Educating Beyond The Classroom

Apprenticeships in England

The Benefits of Apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships are suitable for any sector, from construction to health and social care.

Benefit from staff development relevant to your organisation and ensure employees are building skills and knowledge directly related to their job.

Apprenticeships can be used to cost-effectively train new staff or upskill existing staff – boost the skills in your workforce and see productivity improve whilst creating a learning culture and a socially responsible business that seeks to reduce local unemployment.

Apprenticeships are training programmes lasting between 12 and 30 months providing the apprentice with practical, on-the-job experience and qualifications and providing you with loyal employees to fill a skills gap cost-effectively or upskill your current staff. Current employees build skills in mentoring, training, and management.

Every apprenticeship is made up of Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours and in some cases the main chosen NVQ certificate, along with any English and Maths as appropriate if delegates do not already have proxy via previous qualifications. Delegates will receive an Apprenticeship certificate at the close, therefore giving up to 4 new certificates for CVs and your internal records.

There is a requirement from the employer to commit to the apprenticeship program and being involved in the review process is critical, and for learners to manage their time to complete the work that we set, but we can capture this through lots of methods, not just written work. WE WILL NEED FEEDBACK AND PARTICIPATION FROM YOU AS THE EMPLOYER AT EVERY REVIEW-EVERY 10 WEEKS.

We will also need to visit the learner whilst working onsite to carry out observations of working practice where the on-site evidence of working skills and behaviours will be captured by our assessment team through the use of photographs or video evidence, and we can provide one to one assistance for the knowledge or functional skills if needed.

As part of the apprenticeship programme the learner will be required to attend planned off-the-job training classroom sessions away from their day-to-day tasks. This will be to deliver new knowledge and skills to the learner. The requirement to attend will depend on the programme they undertake and whether they need support to achieve their functional skills.

Having planned your employee’s learning programme we will work together to deliver the training that is required to develop the skills and help achieve their qualification. All of the training will take place within the workplace itself. This will typically involve current staff developing the learner’s skills through observing/shadowing others perform activities, practising themselves and learning from their supervisor. All of this will be completed with minimum disruption to rotas and classes for knowledge can be conducted at your offices so no need for travel or ‘college’ days at all.

You may wish to carry out some or all of the training within the company, but we also provide off-the-job training sessions to support what the apprentice is learning new skills, knowledge, and behaviours in the workplace. We will agree when and where this will take place when developing the learning programme to achieve the correct on and off the job guided learning hours correlation.

Finally, the apprenticeship will culminate in a process known as EPA (End Point Assessment).

Once you as the employer, the learner and us as the provider, are confident that all of the elements of the apprenticeship have been achieved, the EPA assessor will visit to confirm our decision. The purpose of the end point assessment (EPA) is to test that an apprentice is fully capable of doing their job before they receive their apprenticeship certificate. It also helps to demonstrate that what an apprentice has learned can be applied in the real world.

The synoptic EPA has become a core feature of new apprenticeship standards because it assesses the apprentice’s performance across the whole standard rather than for individual tasks.

There are a range of assessment methods including:

  • practical assessment
  • interview
  • project
  • written and/or multiple-choice tests.
  • presentation or sales pitch

The apprentice must be assessed by a minimum of 2 different assessments methods and the methods used will be the ones most relevant to the job.


After the EPA, the apprenticeship is graded as a pass, merit or distinction. Clear grading descriptors are set out the requirements for each grade.

Apprentices are aged 16 or over and combine working with studying to gain job-specific skills and knowledge. Training is integrated into the workweek minimising disruption and tailored to the job role and requirements.

Apprentices can be new or current employees.

Apprentices must be paid at least the minimum apprenticeship wage.

Your apprentice must:

  • work with experienced staff
  • learn job-specific skills.
  • study during their working week (for example, at a college or training organisation)
  • Undertake 20% formal off-the-job training.
  • Be provided with the opportunity to practise new skills in a real work environment.

Off-the-job training

All apprenticeships must include 20% off-the-job training to reinforce practical, work-based learning with theory. It’s training received by the apprentice, during the apprentice’s regular working hours, for the purpose of achieving their apprenticeship. Contact us to find out more about what this entails and how it is implemented. As an experienced national training provider, our sector competence, expertise and dedication to providing positive outcomes means we are best placed to provide apprenticeships for your business needs across a wide variety of departments within your organisation.

We will undertake an organisational needs analysis – Working alongside you, we will jointly identify current training opportunities and facilitate future training needs. We provide an Apprenticeship Recruitment Service where we manage vacancies and the recruitment process in line with your requirements.

We will provide you with a Service Level Agreement and agree on the overall cost of each apprenticeship. The total price agreed between the employer and provider as the cost to the provider for delivery of the apprenticeship programme, to calculate government funding for apprenticeship programmes and to monitor apprenticeship programme costs.

Budget Announcement: Up to £4,000 incentive for all new apprentice hires

The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced in the Budget that the Government is doubling the incentive payment for employers who take on new apprentices.

What does this mean?  As an employer, if you recruit an apprentice (anyone over the age of 16) you will receive a payment of £3,000 for each NEW apprentice hired. If you take on a new apprentice aged 16-18 or someone under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan you will also receive the existing £1,000 bonus together with the new incentive totalling £4,000. The new incentive payments for Apprenticeships apply from 1 April 2021 until 21 September 2021.


Provision of education and training for self-isolating students and remote learning during Covid-19

For students who have been advised to self-isolate, but are well enough to learn, we expect you to continue your education remotely as far as is reasonably possible. We have therefore developed a blended approach to learning where we make effective use of digital technology such as virtual learning environments, video conferencing, digital resources and storage.

In circumstances where you need to undertake your learning remotely, you should benefit from the same amount of teaching and guided work that you would normally receive on-site. We recognise for some students this may not be possible, for example where you are undertaking a course involving practical teaching and training which necessitates the use of specialist equipment and supervision or with respect to work experience and placements. We will use our best endeavours to deliver as much of your planned hours as possible. We expect you to maintain contact and to use this time wisely to benefit from as much contact time as possible

We have the following in place to assist:

  • adapted and sequenced education and training programmes to continue to give you the best chance to build your knowledge and skills
  • individual assessment and feedback to support progress in your learning
  • have systems in place to check, for persistent non-attendance or lack of engagement with remote education and to quickly agree ways in which attendance and participation can be improved with you and your employer
  • give particular consideration on how best to support you if you are vulnerable or disadvantaged, or with special educational needs

If you need to self-isolate or local restrictions require you to remain at home, we are here to help maintain your learning. Your assessor/tutor will contact you to plan for your one to one sessions which may include;

  • remote knowledge sessions using virtual learning environments and assessment arrangements
  • arrangements for remote observations for those of you who are still working and require specialist equipment or facilities to build on your skills
  • alternative methods of support for students without devices, connectivity or a suitable environment for learning. This can include telephone contact and the provision of physical resources as an alternative
  • support for students with SEND or those who are vulnerable.


If you are still working, social distancing has significantly reduced available public transport capacity. Please contact us if you would like advice on how you can safely get to and from work to keep you in your job and progress with your apprenticeship.

Wider public transport

In many areas, students make extensive use of the wider public transport system, particularly public buses, to travel to education. Public transport capacity will continue to be constrained. Its use, particularly in peak times, should be kept to an absolute minimum. Where possible, consider speaking to your employer about staggered start times to enable more journeys to take place outside of peak hours.

Temporary staff and visitors

To keep both staff and learners as safe as possible, we will be minimising the number of visitors to our office as possible. This measure will reduce the risks for learners where face to face and onsite learning/workplace visits are still required. We will make use of outdoor spaces wherever possible to support the delivery of the curriculum.

Before agreeing onsite visits, we will undertake full and thorough risk assessments to ensure they can be done safely.

GFTS Workforce

We expect that most of our teaching staff will be able to attend work. All of our GFTS staff working on-site will follow a strict system of controls to minimise the risks of transmission. Following the system of controls will reduce the risks to all staff and learners significantly. Some roles, such as some administrative roles, may be conducive to home working, and we have considered what is feasible and appropriate.





Attending planned learning

All students must attend planned learning sessions unless they:

  • are ill
  • are self-isolating, including if self-isolating due to a household member having a suspected or confirmed case
  • have been advised not to attend by their local health protection team or NHS Test and Trace

It is important for us to keep an accurate record of attendance should there be a positive case or cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in your workplace or in our place of business.

5 key pieces of information and guidance for our learners

We understand that you may currently be experiencing some unexpected changes in your workplace or at home due to COVID-19 and would like to assure you that as your training provider, we are here to help and safeguard you in any way that we can. We have gathered 5 key pieces of information and guidance on the following topics to support you during this period.

  • Online safety
  • Top tips for learning/working from home
  • Health and well-being
  • Understanding Coronavirus
  • Furloughed – What it means for you…

1) Online safety

At this time of social distancing and lockdown, it’s of course understandable that everyone will be spending a lot more time on social media and online.  With this in mind it’s even more important that we are all aware of the potential dangers that people could be exposed to.

Key tips for staying safe online…

Be careful what you download.

Be careful what you post.

Be careful who you are meeting online.

Keep your privacy settings on.

Choose a strong pass code.

Practice safe browsing.

Report misuse.

The NSPCC also has useful advice and guidance online, including the facility for anyone aged under 18 to report if an image or video of them has been shared online and for it to be removed from the internet.  For more information visit https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/advice-centre


2) Top tips for learning/working from home

You may be completing your 20% off-the-job training at home, at your own pace, or working from home rather than attending your workplace; whatever your circumstances learning or working from home is a new experience for most of us.

5 Top Tips for working/learning at home:

Time – decide and then allocate the best time of the day for you to learn. You might have to book this time with the rest of your family. Get ready for learning at your chosen time. If working from home, you may still have to stick to your normal working hours but do make sure you take regular breaks. It is easy to forget the time so do stick to a schedule and ensure you switch off when you should do.

Space – decide where the best place in your house is for you to learn/work. Again, you might have to negotiate with others for that space. Where possible, a room with natural light can be beneficial.

Equipment – a comfortable seat, the right headphones and the right lighting, all make learning/working from home better.

Regular breaks – make sure you move away from your workstation regularly, maybe every 20 – 30 minutes. If you have a garden, take a walk outside, drink plenty of water.

Make the most of learning opportunities – take advantage of any groups or webinars and use them to the full.

It’s also a great time to learn a new hobby or develop new skills. Try cooking or baking, a new dance, a new language and reading more often – whatever you are interested in!

3) Health and Well-being

Every Mind Matters provides a free mental health plan and some great health and well-being tips at  www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters

Top tips for keeping your mental health and well-being in top shape

Stay connected – organise a quiz or bingo night; meet up remotely for coffee and chat.

Talk about your worries – share with a trusted person, or look at helplines.

Support and help others – volunteering or just helping those close at home.

Feel prepared – planning your week and keeping routines.

Looking after your body – eating and sleeping well. Good exercise and plenty of water.

Stick to the facts – be careful of fake news and bogus stories. Choose a trusted site.

Stay on top of difficult feelings – concentrate on what you can control, not what you can’t.

Do things you enjoy – start a new hobby or improve some skill.

Focus on the present – relax, concentrate on the present and don’t worry about the future.

Look after your sleep – keep good sleep patterns and get ready for a good night’s sleep!

Do you feel you are at risk of abuse?

Not being able to get out of your home can bring additional problems for some people. Controlling your own anger and feelings can be difficult, and taking them out on people you live with can be a problem. Likewise, living closely in a household with others who are abusive can make you feel unsafe. If something doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t right.

If you feel this might be impacting on you, you can get help in the following ways:

In an emergency, ring 999.

If not an emergency, but you want to talk to someone, Freephone 0808 2000 247

If sometimes you find it hard to control your anger call 0845 122 8609

Visit nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/controlling-anger/

Contact our safeguarding team via the contact details given to you.

Keeping Healthy & Active

Just because we are in lockdown that does not mean we can’t take care of ourselves and enjoy some exercise.  Over the last few weeks there has been significant increase in virtual fitness classes. If you are on Facebook, check your local exercise classes, there could be yoga, Zumba, dance, toning, all online. Divina McCall also offers online fitness and well-being guidance free for 30 days at https://ownyourgoalsdavina.com/

Don’t forget… you can still go for walks; it is free and you never know which new and interesting routes you may find when you are out and about.  If you are aged under 18, please always do so with the permission of your parents/guardians.

4) Understanding Coronavirus

Do you know what the Coronavirus is, what it means to you and how you can help yourself and others keep safe?

Often referred to as COVID-19, Coronavirus is the name given to the virus that is impacting how we currently live. It was first detected in January 2020, but has reached almost every country in the world.

  • Stay Alert- We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. In England this means you must:
  • stay at home as much as possible.
  • work from home if you can.
  • limit contact with other people.
  • keep your distance if you go out (2 meters apart where possible). At all times, you should continue to observe social distancing guidelines when you are outside your home.
  • wash your hands regularly, and as soon as you get home if you go out.
  • You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.


There is lots of advice and guidance out there but also plenty of false information.  We always recommend you follow the guidance set out by the Government, which is reviewed regularly.  Government information on what you can and can’t do is available by visiting: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do

Don’t Forget

Do not leave your home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.  The main symptoms are:

a high temperature

a new, continuous cough

a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste.

5) Furloughed – what it means for you…

Have you been Furloughed?  Do you know what it means for you?

This is a bit like putting your television on standby. It’s not working but it could at any time!  In other works, if you are on furlough you are not out of work, and you could be asked to go back to work at any time.

Many companies have put their workers on furlough.  Being on furlough is an unfamiliar situation and can bring about mixed emotions. Everyone will look at furlough in a different way. You may experience feelings of concern, fear or frustration; or feelings of relief if being on furlough allows you to balance caring responsibilities.

Whatever you are feeling, this could have an impact on your well-being. Just remember there is always someone to talk to.  All the organisations detailed on this page will offer some form of advice and guidance.  The websites below also provide information and guidance on being furloughed.

Government guidance can be found by clicking here.

Click here to access The Citizens Advice website.

Click here to visit the ACAS website.


Educating Beyond The Classroom