There has been a lot of talk about whether those people who have been furloughed are allowed to continue with their apprenticeship programme. Well, the good news is that both the ESFA and Skills Development Scotland have published guidance that ‘yes’ apprenticeships can still continue so long as the individual is being paid the minimum wage.

We have spoken to alot of employers who have had to take the very difficult decision to furoloug many of their staff, and are concerned about how much contact they can have with furloughed staff and how they can keep them motivated in this very difficult time.

The apprenticeship landscape is a complicated one anyway, especially right now with so many people either working from home or furloughed. With the government rightly having other priorities, there had been no statement about furloughed workers continuing (or starting) an apprenticeship programme. Most employers, therefore, took the stance that it is best to be safe rather than incur the wrath of ESFA or HMRC and ‘just say no’.

However there is good news for all those levy paying employers that want to use their levy funds to motivate and engage their teams and give their staff confidence and hope for the future.

ESFA and SDS have both released statements and refer to HMRC guidance that states, “Apprentices can be furloughed in the same way as other employees and they can continue to train whilst furloughed“.

There has never been a better time to put your staff through an apprenticeship programme and show them how important they are to you and your business. If the government have taken the time and effort to publically announce furloughed workers can complete apprenticeships, it must be high on their agenda too. For more information on the specific guidance from HMRC please click here.

If you have any questions, or would like to find out more about our virtual apprenticeship and online courses, please email hello@bragd.co.uk, or call 01173 258 676.

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