Support and guidance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Latest government guidance

The latest edition (version 9) of the government guidance for apprenticeship employers and learning providers was published on 12 November and can be read here.

Key changes are: 

  • information added about new national restrictions – this guidance makes it clear that apprenticeship training and assessment can continue to be delivered in line with coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, either in existing education settings or other premises used for that purpose
  • the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended – read more about it in the apprentices on furlough section.
  • confirmation of the package of support available for those who have been made redundant on or after 15 October has been added to the redundant apprentices section
  • the temporary flexibility suspending the funding rule requiring level 2 apprentices to study towards, and attempt, level 2 functional skills assessments has been extended until 31 March 2021 – read more about it in the functional skills requirements section
  • confirmation that the DfE exam support service has been extended to include Functional Skills Qualifications (FSQs) in apprenticeships – read more about it in the functional skills requirements section.


Additional funding 

As part of the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact this has had on employment and skills, new payments have been introduced for employers in England for each new apprentice they hire between 1st August 2020 and 31st January 2021:

  • £2,000 for each new apprentice aged under 25
  • £1,500 for each new apprentice aged 25 and over

These payments are in addition to the existing £1,000 employers receive to support 16-18 year old apprentices and those under-25 with and Education, Health and Care Plan. This is only for new employees. Claims can be made from the 1st September 2020.

⇨ Read more about these rules

Apprenticeship standards are developed by employers in the sector

The apprenticeships currently available for adult social care occupations are:

  • Adult Care Worker (level 2)
  • Lead Adult Care Worker (level 3)
  • The Lead Practitioner in Adult Care (level 4) 
  • Leader in Adult Care (level 5) 
  • Higher Apprenticeship in Care Leadership and Management (level 5), available until 31 July 2020.
  • Nursing Associate (level 5)
  • Social Work (level 6)
  • Occupational Therapist (level 6)
  • Physiotherapist (level 6)
  • Registered Nurse (level 6)

Remember, you can also recruit apprentices in other roles within your service such as business administration, assistant accountant or chef.

⇨ Search for apprenticeship standards.


Benefits of Apprenticeships 

  • offer employers a structured learning programme adaptable to meet the needs of your service.
  • attract lots of funding so there is little cost to your organisation
  • offer confidence in the quality of learning due to the robust assessment process
  •  develop skilled and competent workers due to the mix of on and off-the-job learning.