FAQs for Employers

COVID 19: Temporary Precautionary Measures Announced by Government on 27 November

You will have seen over the weekend that new temporary and precautionary measures are in place in the UK with effect from 4am on Tuesday 30th November. These are:

All international arrivals must take a Day 2 PCR test and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.
All contacts of suspected COVID cases of the new variant Omicron must self-isolate, regardless of their vaccination status. This will become relevant if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
Face coverings will be made compulsory in shops and on public transport. All hospitality settings will be exempt.
You will also have seen that the vaccine remains the UK’s paramount line of defence and as a College we continue to fully encourage you all to take the vaccine and the boosters at the appropriate time.

Whilst we are aware that schools are currently being advised directly in respect of the reintroduction of mask wearing, as we have always done in order to remain cautious and entirely safe as a College population we will monitor the advice from the government and DfE closely in specific respect to FE Colleges in order to make decisions that have everyone’s health and safety at their heart.

You will by now be aware that yesterday, the Prime Minister confirmed that there will be a delay in proceeding to Step 4 of the roadmap that was announced earlier in the year in respect of the government’s response to Covid 19.

In light of this, the Department for Education have provided confirmation that the systems of control in place from 17th May 2021 therefore are to remain until any further announcements are made. The current status will remain until at least the 19th July.

As has been the case throughout the pandemic, we will proceed with caution and if plans do not meet the appropriate guidance protocols, we will take the path that minimises risk in order to keep our internal community safe and well.

Whilst the vaccination programme continues to progress, and many of our staff have now been vaccinated fully, it remains nevertheless important that we continue to be aware of our own responsibilities to stop the spread of the virus. The latest guidance can be found at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-stop-the-spread-of-coronavirus-covid-19

You may be aware that as part of the government’s announced roadmap out of lockdown, on Monday 17 May further restrictions will be relaxed and the guidance to us as a College has also been updated as a result.

As a college we have decided not to rush into changing policy at short notice and so we are requesting that students, staff and visitors continue to wear a face covering while on site.

As we have always advertised, it remains so important for the health and safety of students, staff and visitors that we continue with the social distancing, regular handwashing and the wearing of a face covering, so that we help stop the spread of the Coronavirus.  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-stop-the-spread-of-coronavirus-covid-19/how-to-stop-the-spread-of-coronavirus-covid-19

We will of course monitor the situation and keep you informed of any changes.

In addition, we must all ensure that we continue to carry out our lateral flow tests twice weekly, of students and staff, and record the results through the NHS Test and Trace App, and to CoronavirusFAQ@telfordcollege.ac.uk

The below information applies to any of your apprentices who may attend Telford College throughout the summer term.

All our vital safety measures will remain in place for Summer Term which starts on Monday, April 19.

Above all, this means you must not attend campus if you have any COVID-19 symptoms: which include a high temperature, a new or continuous cough, and a change to your sense of taste or smell.

Below is an update on our arrangements and what you need to know for Summer Term.

NOTE If you have any queries about your own situation, please contact your tutor or call 01952 642200

You must wear face coverings in buildings at all times on college site, unless you are exempt.

You must remain in your zones whenever possible, wash your hands regularly, use the hand sanitiser provided, which can be topped up at reception and you should not gather in corridors.  

Regular testing remains important for keeping everyone safe.

We’re impressed with the take-up of Lateral Flow tests so far, but we need to ensure that we continue with the home tests.

You should test yourself twice a week using Home Testing kits which you were given prior to the Easter break, additional ones are available from Tutor.

Please complete a home test on the Sunday evening prior to returning to college on the Monday

You must report your results – by law – at: https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result

You must also report your results to CoronavirusFAQ@telfordcollege.ac.uk

If you test positive while taking a lateral flow test at home, you must get a polymer chain reaction (PCR) test to confirm the result. A PCR test is a standard COVID-19 test, which you can order at: https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or alternatively you can book a test at a local symptomatic test centre.

Naturally, the basic guidance also still applies.  The government guidance link on how to stop the spread of coronavirus is attached below:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-stop-the-spread-of-coronavirus-covid-19/how-to-stop-the-spread-of-coronavirus-covid-19

  • Wash your hands regularly, and for a longer time than you ordinarily would
  • Ensure you maintain the appropriate social distance
  • Wear a face covering
  • Self-isolate if you have Covid 19 symptoms or a positive Covid 19 test result

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.