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Document updated/added on 10.04.2021

Topic: Appraisals, promotion and training

Letter to discuss end of apprenticeship
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Letter to discuss end of apprenticeship

Letter to discuss end of apprenticeship

Where an apprentice’s apprenticeship is due to end in the next few months, you should start by arranging an informal meeting with them to discuss various practical issues and both parties’ intentions.

Fixed-term contract

An apprenticeship agreement is usually a fixed-term contract and, provided you comply with certain requirements set out in the Apprenticeship, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 in relation to the agreement, it will be regarded as a contract of employment. At the end of that fixed term, the contract will come to an end and you’re under no obligation to offer the apprentice a permanent role. However, if they’ve been continuously employed for two years or more, there’s still the risk of an unfair dismissal claim, as the expiry of a fixed-term contract (including under the terms of an apprenticeship) still constitutes a dismissal in law. So, you need to have a potentially fair reason for dismissal (usually “some other substantial reason” (SOSR)) and you must follow a fair dismissal procedure – see our Notice of Potential Dismissal (FTC Expiry) and our Fixed-Term Contract Expiry Dismissal Letter.

Permanent job offer

Whilst you don’t have to automatically offer a permanent role to an apprentice at the end of their apprenticeship, you should still search for alternative employment within the business as part of a fair procedure. This might mean considering them for roles other than those for which they trained under their apprenticeship - what’s important is that you consider them for anything available and, if they’re qualified for the post, let them decide whether they think it’s a suitable role to undertake. Our Letter to Discuss End of Apprenticeship arranges an informal meeting with the apprentice to go through various issues, one of which is the apprentice’s future career progression, including whether there’s the possibility of a permanent role with you or whether they intend to voluntarily leave your employment at the end of their apprenticeship. This starts the ball rolling on considering alternative employment. 

Apprenticeship assessments

In England, at the end of their apprenticeship, apprentices must complete an assessment of the knowledge, skills and behaviours that they’ve learned throughout the apprenticeship, which confirms that they’re occupationally competent. This is called an “end-point assessment” and it usually includes a practical assessment, a project, an interview and presentation, and written or multiple-choice tests. The requirements for the end-point assessment will be set out in the assessment plan for the specific apprenticeship standard. An approved end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) that is independent from the training provider must complete the assessment. You must find an EPAO as soon as possible at the beginning of the apprenticeship. Then get in touch with your chosen EPAO early on in the apprenticeship to check what the assessment involves so that your apprentice has plenty of time to prepare. After your apprentice then completes their apprenticeship and passes their assessment, the EPAO will request their apprenticeship certificate. Our letter also proposes that the meeting discuss the progress of the apprenticeship, any training still to be completed and the end-point assessment. Also use the meeting to gain the apprentice’s feedback on their apprenticeship, as this may be useful for future apprenticeships.

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