Off-the-job training for apprentices

Off-the-job training for apprentices

In a recently published document, the Department for Education has indicated that 20% of apprentices’ time must be allocated to off-the-job training.

They define off-the-job training as “learning which is undertaken outside of the normal day-to-day working environment and leads towards the achievement of an apprenticeship. This can include training that is delivered at the apprentice’s normal place of work but mustn’t be delivered as part of their normal working duties. It must be directly relevant to the apprenticeship framework or standard.”

This 20% is applied to the apprentice’s contracted time and doesn’t include their English and maths provision. For a typical 37-hour contract, this equates to around 50 days a year or about one day a week in off-the-job training. Add on the time for functional skills study and an apprentice could be away from the workplace for a day and a half or even two days a week.

Paul Turner, Futures Leader at NCFE, highlights these potential concerns in his recent article.


  1. Surely if a training opportunity that relates to the apprentice’s place of work provides the apprentice with valuable additional skills the outcomes can then feed back into a company’s standard of practice and delivery? If training amounts to between 1-2 days over a year’s apprenticeship, often with zero or low pay, I would suggest the company still stands to gain immeasurable outcomes. In particular if positive feedback, support and paid work opportunities are in the offering.

    • James Walker says:

      Thank you for your comments Emma.

      I agree, the employer can only gain from a well-trained apprentice. The key aspect of the off-the-job training is it’s flexible. It doesn’t have to be taken one day a week – it could be in full-week blocks. It’s driven by the employer and can be individual to each apprentice’s needs.

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