What is 20% off-the-job training?

20% off-the-job training is a mandatory part of all apprenticeships. Here we explain what that means for employers.

Off-the-job training is a statutory requirement for an English apprenticeship. It is training, which is received by the apprentice, during the apprentice’s normal working hours, for the purpose of achieving the knowledge, skills and behaviours of the approved apprenticeship the learner is completing. By normal working hours, we mean paid hours excluding overtime.

“It is not on-the-job training which is training received by the apprentice for the sole purpose of enabling the apprentice to perform the work for which they have been employed. By this we mean training that does not specifically link to the knowledge, skills and behaviours set out in the apprenticeship.”

Ref: Apprenticeship off-the-job training, Policy background and examples, version 3, September 2019. Section 2: Policy Background, outcome 10, page 6.

Planning off-the-job-training

Lifetime will discuss the apprentices’ planned programme of learning and help managers and employers to identify relevant activities, putting together a thorough plan to ensure requirements are met. We’ll also provide clear guidance and support for line managers to outline their responsibilities.

Off-the-job training must:

  • Be relevant to the apprenticeship programme.
  • Be separate from the normal day-to-day job role and working environment.
  • Focus on developing new knowledge, skills, and behaviours.
  • Take place during normal paid working hours.

Examples of off-the-job training

The training can consist of a huge range of varied activities which will help develop the apprentice as an employee. Here are just a few examples:

  • Learning new skills at work through shadowing other members of the team
  • Personal development discussions to plan new learning
  • In house training programmes relevant to the apprenticeship
  • Coaching sessions with your Lifetime Coach
  • Writing reflective journals Attendance at workshops, training days and webinars relevant to the apprenticeship
  • Completion of online learning through Lifetime’s Learning system and/or an in-house system
  • Mock assignments to prepare for End-point Assessment
  • Self-study that includes reading or watching videos
  • Training on new working practices or new equipment
  • Role-playing or simulation exercises
  • Industry visits / conferences relevant to the apprenticeship
  • Writing assessments, assignments and completing projects or activities
  • Practical training or training in the workplace relevant to the apprenticeship

Benefits of off-the-job training

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A better understanding of overall knowledge, skills and behaviours required in the wider industry
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Promotes a flexible, practical and creative approach to learning – and an opportunity to gain new, transferable skills
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Provides an environment where learning can be explored in various ways through real-life learning
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Allows contact with inspiring and highly experienced trainers
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Lets learners network with one another and expand their knowledge
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Access to a wealth of online materials in Lifetime's online learning platform which can support and enhance in house training

Calculating 20% off the job training

Off-the-job training is calculated from 20% of an apprentice’s time over the course of their entire apprenticeship. For example, if an apprentice works a 37.5-hour week, then 7.5 hours (or roughly one day) at minimum should be spent on activities that qualify as “off-the-job”.

Additional points to note about calculating off the job training are:

  • Learner statutory leave should not be calculated under the 20% of off-the-job training. It is only applicable to working hours
  • 20% is the minimum time required through the apprenticeship agreement. Employers may wish to increase off the job training time to develop their employees further or at a faster rate
  • Any off the job training (evening industry events) that takes place outside of working hours must be paid in lieu or offset against normal working hours
  • Extra training following a failed end-point assessment does not count towards the minimum 20%. The minimum 20% time needs to be achieved before undertaking end-point assessment.

How do you record off the job training?

Recording off-the-job training activities and making sure that they are valid and beneficial is important. As mentioned, learners cannot progress to the end-point assessment stage and complete their program until the 20% has been accounted for.

We offer a digital apprenticeship portal where learners can log off-the-job activities and time spent. Our employer login lets you view and monitor these activities, giving you full control and visibility.

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Lifetime delivers industry-leading skills training that’s reshaping the future of business. Our expert teams work to become an extension of yours, so we can build long-lasting, trusted partnerships. Request a call back to find out more about the business benefits of apprenticeships.

understanding apprenticeships and off-the-job training