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Degree Apprenticeships

COVID-19 Information for Apprentice Employers

We are responding to the Government announcement that more stringent social distancing measures are required to delay transmission of coronavirus COVID-19

The health of our staff, students and visitors is our absolute priority and we understand that the changes to guidance will result in considerable uncertainty for many of our University community.

The health of our staff, students and visitors is our absolute priority and we understand that the changes to guidance will result in considerable uncertainty for many of our University community. 

We would ask that while there is disruption to learning in the University that you continue to support your apprentices with allocated time and a location away from the immediate pressures of the job to carry out either work that has been set online or that they continue to develop new learning, skills, knowledge and behaviours  as set by their academic tutor. 

We also appreciate that as an organisation you will have your own resilience plan and appreciate that in the short term, this plan will supersede all university plans.

All apprentices across all our programmes will receive individual communication regarding the continuation of learning via Moodle, the university online learning portal. We urge you to ensure your apprentices continue to engage at this time and we will continue to undertake Tripartite reviews remotely with each apprentice.

We are committed to ensuring our employers are communicated with and updated on a regular basis.

The Department of Education has issued the latest advice pertaining to apprenticeship training providers and EPAOs

In order to support the sector during any disruption which may be experienced due to COVID-19 these are the initial recommendations from the Department for Education:

  1. Apprentices who are ready for assessment – i.e. who reach gateway and cannot be assessed due to assessor illness or Covid-19 related measures, will be allowed to have a break in learning. This should protect funding and completion of apprenticeships and should be reflected in the July completion rules. The normal breaks in learning process should be followed and therefore we only need notifying once a break in learning has exceeded 4 weeks. A break in learning must occur before the learner is recorded as completed. Apprentices can go on a break in learning between completing the learning activity (learning actual end date) and the assessment, but there would be no requirement to record in this in the ILR as it will not have an effect on funding.
  2. Apprentices who experience gaps in training due to Covid-19 related illness in the workplace or off the job can classify this period as a break in learning. The normal breaks in learning process should be followed and therefore we only need notifying once a break in learning has exceeded 4 weeks.
  3. Usually breaks in learning are only permitted where they are learner driven, however we are aware that there may be occasion where an employer who is following government advice may take action that results in an apprenticeship have to be paused. In these occasions a break in learning can be used where there will be a break of longer than 4 weeks. The normal breaks in learning process should be followed.
  4. In order to maintain the integrity of high quality assessment of apprenticeships we are going to monitor the situation and will issue further advice and modifications relating to specific assessment methods if necessary.
  5. We advise adhering to the current escalation process of raising EPA (end-point assessment) issues through EQAPs (external quality assurance providers) in the first instance.

For further information please email

Specific guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance for apprentices, employers, training provides, end-point assessment organisations and external quality assurance providers can be found on UK government webpages

York St John University will be providing regular updates which includes general guidance for apprentices and their employers on our website here.

Executive MBA

Susie Hoyland, Client Services Manager:  

David Kelsey, Course Leader:  

Clare Mulligan, Module Leader for current taught modules: 

Alison Lawman, Module Leader for Capstone Project: 

Brendan Paddison, Associate Dean – York Business School: 

Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship

Alan Johnson, Academic Lead for Apprenticeships and Professional Accreditations – York Business School: 

Chen Ren, Course Leader: 

Sue Smith, School Administrator: 

Data Science Degree Apprenticeship

Rob Sanders, Head of School: 

Pierre -Phillippe Dechant, Course Leader: 

Malak Olamaie, Module Leader for Analysis & Optimisation and Computer Programming modules: 

Fei Xiang, Module Leader for Probability Statistics and Data Analysis module:  

Laboratory Science Degree Apprenticeship

Dr Sue Jones, Associate Head – Biosciences:

No face-to-face teaching days are now taking place until further notice. Distance learning contingency plans for individual programmes will be communicated to apprentices via email and their Moodle site.

Apprentices can still be making progress towards the KSBs of their standard, even if they are working remotely. All of this activity can be counted towards 20% off the job. Now may be a good time for them to: 

  • access the e-learning on Moodle
  • read around their subject area 
  • complete the assignments and tasks set by their tutor 
  • update their e-portfolio 
  • update a reflections log 
  • book onto one of the on-line development days 
  • make sure they are up to date with what’s expected in their End Point Assessment - this could be a good time to get ahead. 

Apprentices may be asked to cover a different part of the business at the moment which isn’t as relevant to their apprenticeship. They might be asked not to take off-the-job time whilst there’s a shortage of colleagues. This is understandable in the current situation and should not mean that they need to stop learning. 

Don’t forget that anything an employee is asked to do that isn’t part of their normal on-the-job role and involves acquiring new skills and behaviors in the workplace can be classed as off-the-job as long as it relevant to the apprenticeship standard!   

Apprentices should keep a record of this and discuss in their next review with their academic tutor what can be included as evidence in their portfolio or any additional time they will need.  

If it becomes unmanageable, apprentices are encouraged to ask their line manager or apprenticeship business lead to contact their academic tutor.

York St John University is following UK government advice. Apprentices can be furloughed in the same way as other employees and they can continue to train whilst furloughed.

However, you must pay your apprentices at least the Apprenticeship Minimum Wage (AMW), National Living Wage(NLW) or National Minimum Wage NMW) for all the time they spend training. This means you must cover any shortfall between the amount you can claim for their wages through this scheme and their appropriate minimum wage.

Guidance is available for changes in apprenticeship learning arrangements because of COVID-19.

Furloughed apprentices should be encouraged where possible to continue with the knowledge aspect of their apprenticeships and engage with distance learning if appropriate.

Each programme has an online community via Moodle for its apprentices. The main thing is to keep going and talk to us about any challenges they face. 

For more information please call us on +44(0)1904 876603 or email

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