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What Counts as 20% 'Off-the-Job' Apprenticeship Training? 15+ Examples & Printable PDF

As an apprenticeship employer, you have a responsibility to ensure that your apprentice spends 20% of their time at work on 'off-the-job' training.

Traditionally, this would involve the apprentice spending one day each week completing a course at a college.

However, there are more flexible ways to fulfil this requirement (such as workplace-based online learning), and there are many activities you might not realise count towards the 20% apprentice training time too.

Whether you currently employ apprentices or are considering introducing an apprenticeship scheme within your organisation, it’s essential to understand how you can fulfil the all-important 20% off-the-job learning requirement.


Access the printable PDF guide to 20% off-the-job training activities here.


The Basics of Off-the-Job Apprenticeship Training

Off-the-job training is an integral part of the apprenticeship journey, as apprentices should be learning frequently and continuously throughout their time with your organisation.

As an apprenticeship is a work-based training programme, the 20% off-the-job time is required to assist the apprentice in becoming fully occupationally competent.

Apprenticeship agreements set out the requirement to meet this 20% off-the-job training requirement; if you neglect this, your apprentice won't be gaining enough professional development and you won't be meeting the conditions of the apprenticeship.

The 20% requirement is only the minimum amount of time that should be used to develop the apprentice off-the-job. Employers who want to accelerate their apprentices' development can choose to dedicate more time to training as required.

The off-the-job training that you provide to your apprentices must closely relate to the relevant apprenticeship standard. This ensures that your apprentices are given an effective combination of theoretical and practical skills.

Your apprentices' off-the-job learning time should take place during their normal working hours and should be paid at the same rate as their normal work time.

You must offer your apprentice time off in lieu or additional payment if part of their training must fall outside of their normal working hours. For example, if a networking event is in the evening, the apprentice should be offered the opportunity to start their working day later, finish earlier on another day, or be paid their normal hourly rate for time spent at the event.


Learn which activities count as off-the-job training here.