20% off-the-job training guide for apprenticeships


An apprenticeship is a great way to add talent to your business and upskill your key staff with new skills. As well as learning on the job, Apprentices undertake a course that gives them a valued qualification.

20% off-the-job training is required for any Apprentice undertaking a UK apprenticeship and must be included in their regular working hours. So, for example, if your apprentice is employed to work 37.5 hours per week, the 20% is equivalent to approximately one day per week.

What is 20% off-the-job training?

Off-the-job training should be undertaken outside the typical day-to-day working environment within contracted hours and must: -

  • Be relevant to your learner's Apprenticeship qualification standard
  • Focus on developing new knowledge, skills and behaviours that will contribute to the achievement of an apprenticeship
  • Take place during normal working hours

Examples of 20% off-the-job training

Various activities can count towards off-the-job training. For example, personal development with a business coach or mentor, in-house training days, self-study, industry or sector activities, or working on a project relative to your business and sector will help learners work towards their EPA. Below are some examples of what can and cannot be included.

What's included

What's not included

  • Training that is delivered at the apprentice’s normal place of work but must not be delivered as part of their normal working duties
  • The teaching of theory (for example lectures, role-playing, simulation exercises, online learning or manufacturer training)
  • Practical training: shadowing, mentoring, industry visits and attendance at competitions
  • Learning support and time spent writing assessments/assignments
  • Progress reviews or on-programme assessments needed for an apprenticeship
  • Training which takes place outside of the apprentice’s paid working hours
  • English and maths (up to Level 2) which is funded separately

Why is 20% off-the-job important

  • Apprentices cannot progress to their EPA unless the 20% off-the-job learning is completed
  • It gives Apprentices a better understanding of the knowledge and skills required in their sector
  • It gives them time to work on their qualification and assignments
  • Promotes a flexible and creative approach to learning
  • Allows the learner to work to develop new and transferable skills

How should 20% off-the-job training be delivered?

  • It's up to employers to decide on an appropriate delivery model and agree on what can be included, examples could be regular day release, block release, and special training days/workshops.
  • If you use a training provider, the learning is more than likely to be delivered 1:1, and the topics are bespoke to the employer's sector and/or company. Your learner's tutors will work with you to agree on the most suitable topics and timings.

Calculating 20% off-the-job the learning

  • The 20% off-the-job training is only applicable to working hours
  • 20% is the minimum time required; employers can allow more time which could help the learner develop their learning and skills quicker
  • Any off-the-job training that is post-work, such as networking or industry events, must be paid in lieu or offset against normal working hours

Recording 20% off-the-job learning

Recording off-the-job training is important and will also help ensure the training is relevant to the apprenticeship programme. Your training provider will provide a way for you to record this. We have an online portal where our tutors and apprentices register their sessions, and our employers can log in to view and monitor their apprentice's progress.

For further guidance, please get in touch with us @Aspire2Learn


16 Jun 2022