Off the job training explained

Off the job training is vital to the delivery of any apprenticeships provision. It helps to reinforce the practical work-based skills completed on the job by the learner.

Off the job training has always been a part of the apprenticeship provision.  Reforms have led to more specific rules from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) around what constitutes off the job training, which must be a minimum of 20%.

The ESFA 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 apprentices normal place of work but must not be delivered as part of their normal working duties'.

20% off the job training - Myths Busted

Myth - 20% off the job means one day out of the workplace every week?

This isn’t the case. 20% off the job training can be accrued over the course of the apprenticeship.  It doesn’t have to be regimented to one day per week. Varied delivery can be used, such as smaller chunks, day or block release, depending on the situation.

The off the job training could also be scheduled around less busy periods in your business, or in some cases more heavily weighted at the start of the apprenticeship. Walsall College will work with each employer to outline a suitable programme for their apprentice(s) which suits both their needs.

Myth - 20% of the job should always be classroom based activity away from the workplace

It doesn’t always have to be. Training can be delivered through various methods such as e-learning, self-study and virtual classrooms.  And it’s not just teaching of the theory side which counts.  Practical training and learning such as, shadowing, mentoring and industry visits etc. can also contribute.

The main thing is the apprentice is learning a new skill or developing their knowledge.

Myth - Internal training can’t count towards the 20%

Not true.  If it relates to the apprenticeship standard, some internal training/development can count towards the 20%. For example, internal training on an organisation's values or system might count, however being shown around the building would not.

Our dedicated Business Training Solutions Team are available to help with any questions around off the job training just:

call on 01922 651129 or email businesstrainingsolutions@walsallcollege.ac.uk.
We’ll guide you through the process and help you to create the most effective employee training plan for your business.

What counts as off the job training

  • Induction - but only where relevant to the apprenticeship standard and not the workplace induction
  • Individual and group training
  • Coaching
  • Distance learning
    Team meetings / all staff meetings / away days (only when directly related to achievement of the standard/ behaviours)
  • Guided study
  • Directed reading such as journal articles, online articles, books etc.
  • Mentoring
  • Collaborative learning
  • Demonstrations
  • Online learning – webinars, podcasts, discussion forums
  • Learning journal / reflective learning
  • Preparation / Revision for assessment
  • Observation of others
  • Training from suppliers

What doesn't count as off the job training

  • End-point assessment (although preparation for this can contribute towards this)
  • Maths and English Functional Skills – apprentices completing these qualifications will need additional time on top of the 20%
  • Progress reviews or on-programme assessments as there will be no new learning delivered
  • Training that takes place outside the apprentice’s paid working hours
  • Any Business As Usual activities

What does it mean in practice?

This means employers have greater flexibility on what can form off the job training.  You may already have completed different things which count as off the job training without realising it.

The overall objective is to ensure that apprentices are given the right amount of development time to achieve their apprenticeship,

Still need a helping hand? Or have more questions?

Call our dedicated Business Training Solutions Team on 01922 651129

or email businesstrainingsolutions@walsallcollege.ac.uk.