FAQs for Employers

Following the government announcement on Monday 22nd February, I am writing to confirm the arrangements in place to enable apprentices to return to college from the 8th March. This will be a phased return, to facilitate a mass asymptomatic testing programme of all students.

To enable a phased return, your apprentice will be emailed dates and times for their first day back on site, please ask your apprentice to check their emails regularly.

The College will continue to complete robust risk assessments to ensure that all areas are COVID compliant.

The planned and invited apprentices that access the College will have a lateral flow test on their first day, so that we are able to ensure that no student is being put at risk.

Test process is as follows:
The test will be supervised by trained staff. The lateral flow tests are quick and easy to undertake, using a swab of the nose and throat. Results (which take around half an hour from testing) will be shared directly with the individual participant. The college will inform the student of a positive test result. Where participants are under 16, parents or legal guardians will also be informed. The student will also receive notification of a positive or negative result from the online NHS system.

Apprentices who are requested to attend college must adhere to the following safety measures:
• Have the lateral flow test at their appointment time
• Sanitise their hands when entering the College building and frequently throughout their time spent on site
• Wear a face covering at all times, including lessons
• Keep a 2 metre distance
• To support our local community, apprentices should remain in college through-out the period of their day, and not leave site, unless to travel home.
• Apprentices should continue to adhere to social distancing measures once they have left site, and are journeying home.
• It is important that if an apprentice does not feel well and has any COVID symptoms that they do not come to College. Instead they must contact the absence line on 01952 642244 or email absence@telfordcollege.ac.uk

We would like to assure you that while your apprentice is on site Telford college has put in place all the required measure to ensure their safety. But if you have any questions or would like further information the please contact student services on 01952 642327, email info@telfordcollege.ac.uk.

Yes, payments will still be made to the college from the ESFA as normal, these will then be paid to employers as normal.

Yes, the government have advised of financial packages that have been made available to support employers to pay their staff:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-announces-workers-support-package

Awarding organisations are working with colleges and training providers to ensure we can still complete EPA’s using remote technology where possible. Some EPA’s do require a face to face assessment, where it is not possible to change this to a remote option we will work with apprentices and employers to book the EPA as soon as possible under the required Covid-19 health and safety guidelines.

Yes, we have an active Talent Pool with new applicants being added on a daily basis, we can arrange interviews using online meeting software or in-company interviews depending on your access restrictions.

Yes, if you have an apprentice you have recruited yourself, we can support you with the enrolment process onto an apprenticeship and assign them an assessor.

Yes, as long as you have issued work for them to complete and they still have regular support from their mentor this is fine. Your apprentices assessor will be in regular contact to offer support and progression.

Yes, we are supporting employers with interviews for applicants, this is being carried out using a variety of online applications such as Microsoft Teams, Skype and Facetime. Any software you currently use in-company can be supported as long as it is web based.

We will contact students when we know more about how grades will be calculated.

Yes, any apprentice who has been furloughed and is continuing with their apprenticeship training and support, has to be paid the national minimum wage for their age:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

If you as the employer are topping up the 20% difference then this won’t be an issue.