Update: Apprenticeships & Coronavirus: We’re Here to Support You

Friday 27th March 2020

Dear employers and colleagues,

It’s now two weeks since we moved all our support and delivery online. The feedback has been positive and thank you for working with us to make that transition as effective as possible.

I have had a number of conversations with some of you as you explore the options available to your business and the difficult decisions you are making.

There is a range of support available. This summary from the West Midlands Growth Hub is the clearest I found in the deluge of information we’re all receiving into our feeds and inboxes. https://workupload.com/file/KWkVE9jMD7C

One of the schemes I am being asked about in relation to apprentices is the Furlough scheme. This is where businesses can put staff on furlough, pay 80% of the costs of that staff member, and reclaim that back in the form of a grant for HMRC. This will be introduced next month but we are all still waiting for detailed guidance to be issued about how the scheme will operate.

Yesterday I took part in a legal webinar organised by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations for charities and Not For Profit Social Enterprises such as Creative Alliance. The PowerPoint presentation is here: https://bit.ly/39h1NZk

Much of it won’t be directly relevant, but the section on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme i.e. Furlough Scheme I think will be helpful to all employers whilst we wait for more detailed official guidance about the actual mechanics of the scheme. We have also invested in a Lay-Off and Short Time Working Toolkit produced by an HR consultancy. If you would like further information about that please let me know.

Whatever decisions you have to reach to create a bridge for your business from now to when the crisis starts to end, Creative Alliance will continue to support you and your apprentice. We’ll do this through our online service throughout March, April and May.

All we ask from you is that you talk to us, explore your options and seek, wherever possible, to put in temporary measures for your apprentices. We’ll do all we can with their training during this phase so they can add as much value to your business on its full resumption.

Your Development Coach is always available but if you need to talk to me then please ring me on 07793 200701 or email me: noel@creativealliance.org.uk

My best wishes to you all that you stay well during these anxious times.

Noel Dunne, Director

You can also download the PDF of this letter here