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 to practice
  • Teaching of theory or spending time at 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 CANNOT be classed as Off-The-Job Training

  • Additional learning outside of the apprentices paid hours such a voluntary work
  • Progress reviews or on-programme assessment 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 Math’s 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.

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.

For more information on the benefits of recruiting an apprentice and how it can grow your business to help reach its potential click here.