Capella are committed to the safety and wellbeing of all apprentices/delegates and therefore need to ensure their working environment is safe and that apprentices/delegates are not exposed to any unnecessary risks and employers have all the necessary health and safety and safeguarding policies in place. We expect employers to uphold this duty of care as part of their responsibilities. An apprentice/delegate should be treated in the same way as any other employee and receive the same information and training as existing team members.
The ESFA funding rules set out all the terms and conditions associated with the Apprenticeship Levy including some that are applicable specifically to young people (e.g. National Minimum Wage and Working Time Regulations). We encourage employers to read the funding rules carefully, ensuring they comply in full.
20% Off-the-Job Training
One of the rules states that all apprentices are required to spend at least 20% of their time completing off-the-job training. This is to be completed during their working hours and will support the apprentice to develop their workplace knowledge and skills. Off-the-job training includes training delivered by Capella, independent study towards project and assignment completion and normal work opportunities such as shadowing a colleague, formal training sessions and visits.
For details on the 20% requirement, just see our OTJ (Off the job) article here.
Induction Programme for New Employees Undertaking an Apprenticeship
For new employees undertaking an Apprenticeship, a workplace induction is vital. A well-planned induction programme will help new employees settle in quickly and understand the environment in which they are working, and the job role which they will be doing. Some apprentices will have no prior experience of work and will therefore require additional support from their line manager or mentor. Suggestions of what to include are detailed below.
A Safe Learning Environment
Health and Safety law states that employers must ensure the health and safety of their employees and appropriate consideration for young people. Employers must therefore ensure:
- Working conditions meet legal requirements.
- Adequate employees’ liability insurance is in place. You may need to inform your insurance company if you are employing young people or vulnerable adults in your workplace for the first time.
- The health and experience of the apprentice is be assessed and a written risk assessment put in place, introducing controls/restrictions as appropriate.
- PPE is provided free of charge if identified in the risk assessment.
- High risk machinery is not used by under 18-year olds unless they have the maturity, competence and training required.
- HSE is notified of RIDDOR, and any incidents or accidents involving our learner must be reported immediately to Capella.
- The Capella Health and Safety checklist is completed prior to any learning or training taking place, and any recommendations are actioned before the apprenticeship can start.
Reasonable Workplace Adjustments
Reasonable adjustments are changes that need to be made to the working environment in order to achieve equality for disabled employees. This may involve making sure areas are accessible, that the height/area of the work space is suitable or providing learning support, an ergonomic chair or software to enable a disabled person to do their job. These reasonable adjustments are a requirement under equality law and failure to do so is classed as unlawful discrimination.
As well as providing a safe working environment there is also a statutory requirement to protect learners from maltreatment and any impairment of their health, wellbeing or development, regardless of their age. All concerns should be reported directly to Capella’s Designated Safeguarding Lead, regardless of how small or insignificant they may first appear to be.
- Staff supporting the learner need to be vigilant in identifying and reporting any signs of a safeguarding issue – it is the responsibility of everyone to report concerns, especially if the learner is aged under 18.
- Learners must be made aware of your company policy, including confidentiality, data protection, GDPR and acceptable use policies for IT, internet and digital services to ensure inappropriate, illegal or unsafe materials are not accessed.
- Prevent is another strand of safeguarding and falls under the Government Counter Terrorism and Security Act. As your employee is in Education you also have a responsibility in escalating any concerns or indicators of radicalisation or being groomed for terrorist activity. Further details on Prevent are available in Capella’s
- Safeguarding and Prevent Policy, a copy of which is available on the Policies page on Capella’s website.
- If a learner discloses anything to you or a colleague, or you notice any changes in their behaviour, please contact the safeguarding lead or the learner’s assessor.
Managers of apprentices should take steps to safeguard themselves. Suggested actions are shown below:
- Ensure the mandatory industry and legal requirements for employees within your sector such as DBS and Health & Safety checks are completed.
- It is advisable for staff to have safeguarding training and appoint a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL).
- Ensure all parties understand and agree to their role and responsibilities.
- Be clear of the boundaries between professional and personal relationships and work in a transparent manner to reduce the opportunities for unfounded accusations.
- Be aware of the amount of time spent working alone with an individual learner, especially those aged 18 or under
- Travelling with a young and/or vulnerable learner on a 1:1 basis should be avoided.
- Young and/or vulnerable learners can be inexperienced, impressionable and unaware of potential risks therefore be mindful of this and their level of maturity.
- Adhere to your legal responsibility as an employer; guidance can be referred to on the HSE and ACAS websites.