There are two components to apprenticeships, as set out in the apprenticeship standards and these are On-The-Job training which covers the part that corresponds to the job role and Off-The-Job training which largely corresponds to the learning or academic part of the apprenticeship.

Both parts of the apprenticeship are paid at the same rate and this should correspond to at least the apprenticeship minimum wage, though it may be higher, at the employer’s discretion.

On-The-Job Training

The On-The-Job training component comprises up to 80% of the apprenticeship and the apprentice will learn from their mentor and other employees at the company what the job role they are training for entails. 

This is an important aspect of the apprenticeship, as it is where the apprentice will gain most of their active hands-on experience in the job role. The On-The-Job training aspect allows for good oversight of how the apprentice is doing generally, as they will be interacting with other company staff for up to 80% of their time. 

Off-The-Job Training

Off-The-Job Training (OTJ) is a vital component of all apprenticeship training. Apprentices are required to spend at least 20% of their time away from their regular working duties developing knowledge, new skills and behaviours associated with their apprenticeship standard.

With support from workplace mentors, apprentices are expected to keep a continuous log evidencing their OTJ hours throughout the duration of their course. There are plenty of examples of what can be included. It doesn’t necessarily always have to be completed in the workplace, as long actively contributes to the completion of the apprenticeship.

There are several ways Off-The-Job Training can be achieved and some of the activities which count towards the achievement of their 20% hours may surprise you. Below are some of the hundreds of examples of what can be classed as OTJ training and some of which cannot.

Examples of What CAN Be Classed as Off-The-Job Training

  • Being mentored by a senior colleague who is in a role that they aspire to or delivering mentor sessions to other colleagues in the workplace
  • 1-to-1 performance reviews in the workplace delivered by a more senior member of staff
  • Shadowing another colleague’s role, perhaps reflecting on their experiences before putting them into practice
  • Teaching of theory or spending time at work in a learning institution in tutor-led delivery sessions such as day release at college
  • Completing portfolio work or undertaking e-learning and any practical training that supports this

Examples of What CAN NOT Be Classed as Off-The-Job Training

  • Additional learning outside of the apprentice’s paid hours such as voluntary work
  • Progress reviews or on-programme assessments by an external assessor or coach
  • Training to acquire knowledge or skills that are not relevant to the apprenticeship standard i.e. internal equality and diversity training
  • English and Maths study – Apprenticeships are designed to develop occupational competency and a minimum level 2 achievement in English and Maths is expected; therefore, training for English and maths must be in addition to the apprenticeship 20% off-the-job requirements

Calculating Off-The-Job Hours

Off-The-Job Training hours are calculated as a total of the entire duration of the apprenticeship standard being undertaken. An example of these hours broken down could look like this:

  1. 5 x 7.5 working hours in a day = 37.5 hours per week.
  2. 52 working weeks in a year x 37.5 working hours = 1950 total hours working in a year.
  3. 20% OJT requirement of 1820 hours = 390 total OTJ hours.

If you need further support your training provider will be able to assist you when working out how many total hours need to be dedicated by the apprentice to OTJ throughout the apprenticeship. Your training provider is a valuable resource throughout the course of the apprenticeship and is there to answer any questions about the process that you have. 

The role of the training provider is to ensure that the apprentice is getting the right kind of information and support to achieve the academic portion of their apprenticeship that fits their current apprenticeship level. Apprenticeship levels refer to the type of apprenticeship so these can include Intermediate, Advanced, Higher and Degree apprenticeships.  

Off-The-Job Training is also a key component of the new Ofsted Education inspection framework which highlights the need for both employers and providers to assess their apprentice’s progress from their starting points, with emphasis on how the apprentice can perform their duties more efficiently as a result of their training and experience on the programme.

End Point Assessments

At the end of the apprenticeship, in order to be able to prove that they have completed it successfully, apprentices have to undergo an End Point Assessment. This is an examination of their skills and knowledge gained during the apprenticeship. The aim is that all apprentices who pass a particular apprenticeship standard will be able to demonstrate the same skills and knowledge, no matter which company or location it was undertaken at. 

The standardisation of apprenticeship outcomes through the adoption of the apprenticeship standards means that businesses have unprecedented levels of confidence in the abilities of former apprentices to take on their job roles. Over two-thirds of apprentices are employed by the company they served their apprenticeship at after successfully completing it. This is a remarkable vote of confidence in the young people who have been completing apprenticeships and in the system that is bringing them through. It is clear that apprentices are valued in the workplace and the skills that they are being taught are being found to be helpful by employers.

Apprentices are playing a key role in filling the skills gaps that were left after Brexit, the Covid-19 pandemic and the “Great Resignation”. More and more companies are turning to apprentices to fill these gaps and provide a cost-effective way to help them to fill the job roles that they need to succeed.  

Recruiting an Apprentice

Check out the benefits of recruiting an apprentice and how it can grow your business to help reach its potential. Also, take a look at the services for employers we offer that can help you recruit the best apprenticeship candidates.