To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 4 December 2020 to Question 122787 on Apprentices, what support he plans to provide for employers who are unable to fund a laptop for an apprentice to enable that apprenticeship to continue.
28 January 2021
We are committed to supporting apprentices and employers to safely continue with, and complete, their programmes during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Following the announcement of a new national lockdown on 4 January 2021, employers and training providers must ensure that training and assessment takes place remotely. Face to face training and assessment can continue for vulnerable young apprentices – which includes 16 to 18 year olds who may have difficulty engaging with remote training and assessment at home due to a lack of IT equipment or connectivity – and in employers’ COVID-secure settings where it is essential for workers to attend their workplace, and where it is safe and practical to do so.
Employers are responsible for providing their employees, including apprentices, with the tools they need to work remotely and should support apprentices with the digital resources they need to also continue their apprenticeship training remotely.
To support businesses during this time, we have extended the incentive payments for employers of up to £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire until 31 March 2021. Employers can use this funding to help meet any of the costs associated with supporting a new apprentice in the workplace, including providing laptops and other resources for learning.
Where it is not possible and practicable for the apprentice to continue training, a break in learning can be agreed and the apprentice may return to learning at a future date. Our guidance can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-apprenticeship-programme-response.