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Apprenticeships: 20% off the job explained

24 January 2019

According to the Education and Skills Funding Agency, all apprenticeship standards must contain 20% off the job training; but what does that mean for employers?

Off the job training is learning which is undertaken outside a person’s usual day to day working environment, and contributes towards the achievement of an apprenticeship. This can include training that is delivered at the apprentice’s workplace, but must not be delivered as part of their usual working duties.

The 20% off the job training is calculated using the apprentice’s contracted employment hours across their whole apprenticeship – equivalent to around one day per working week. This may be an initial cause of concern for employers, however in practice the benefits of that time can be significant. The time provides the apprentice with time to reflect on their learning and improve their efficacy with regular working tasks. It allows the employee to acquire knowledge and skills that enhances their capabilities in the future.

What is included in off the job training?

  • The off the job training must be directly relevant to the apprenticeship, and could include:
  • The teaching of theory (for example lectures, roles play, online learning, manufacturer training)
  • Practical training: shadowing, mentoring, industry visits and attendance at competitions
  • Learning support
  • Time spent writing assessments/assignments

What isn’t included in off the job training?

  • English and maths functional skills (up to level 2) which is funded separately
  • Progress reviews or on programme assessments that are part of the apprenticeship
  • Training which takes place outside of the apprentice’s paid working hours


The 20% off the job is compulsory, however employers can decide how and when they want off the job training to be delivered. It can be for one day per week, or one week out of five, or grouped together at the beginning or end of an apprenticeship. At Gloucestershire College, we can support you to find the best solution for your business and your apprentice.

Evidence of off the job training

Whatever off the job training is offered to apprentices, the employer must record and be able to provide evidence where required that it has been undertaken. This will form part of an evidence pack, along with the agreed contracted hours of employment and the total planned length of the apprenticeship.

If you have any more questions regarding 20% off the job training, or you’d like to discuss what apprenticeships could support your business, contact the GC Business Hub:

01452 563400 or


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