Jo Pritchard

EPA completion without an employer


I have tried to search to see if anyone else has encountered this problem but I can't find any similar queries...we have an apprentice on the SLDA who has completed their academic award and is about to go through the gateway to proceed to the EPA. However, since completing the award they have left their initial employer (they haven't been made redundant) and the new employer does not want to support the remainder of the apprenticeship although the apprentice is keen to complete. Is there any way I can get the apprentice through the EPA without the new employer's support (funding)? I am keen to get the apprenticeship completed for the learner and and also to ensure we are not left with a non-completion. I know we'll not be able to claim the 20% completion payment but I was wondering what the options are, if any! Any thoughts?



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Martin West

If the apprentice was keen to complete then they would not have ended the Apprenticeship Agreement with their employer as although it may be possible to complete with a new employer there is no guarantee that they will be able to do so.

Kelly Knights

Wouldn't the 1 month rule come into force here? So they have to find a new employer within 1 month or you make them a withdrawal. Its harsh because they've got so far but that's how I'm reading the guidance

Ruth Canham-James

I'm afraid they can't finish if they weren't made redundant and the new employer won't sign up.

Some relevant rules;

P85 If an apprentice becomes unemployed or self-employed, they will at that point no
longer be eligible for funding and you must report them as having withdrawn from
the apprenticeship on the ILR.

P163 The apprentice must be employed until the end-point assessment is completed. The
only exception is where the apprentice has been made redundant and we are funding
the apprenticeship to completion.

P276.2 When employment or an apprenticeship agreement has ended (resignation,
dismissal or any other action by the apprentice or the employer that results
in the apprenticeship agreement ending, with the exception of redundancy)
and new employment hasn’t commenced within 30 days, you must manage
this using a withdrawal to ensure funds are not paid when the apprentice is
not employed, in line with rules P325 to P327

It's happened to us quite a few times. The apprentice can try and persuade the employer to sign up since it's for the apprentice's benefit. You can choose for the price to be next to nothing to help with that. You'd lose money, but you'd avoid a withdrawal (assuming the gap ends up less than 30 days) and most importantly, the apprentice will get their apprenticeship. Many employers will agree once they realise that they're doing their new employee a disservice by not.


Ruth Canham-James

Martin - I understand that sentiment, but it's rarely that simple. Apprentices leave due to bullying. They leave because their first employer has told them there won't be a job once finished, and they see a great opportunity that they'll miss if they don't leave early. They leave because they didn't realise they couldn't finish if they did (despite the fact that this is explained to them when they start), and they don't tell the provider they're even thinking about it until it's already done. The rules don't take this sort of thing into consideration.

Jo Pritchard

Thanks Ruth, that's' really helpful. I'll see if we can get the new employer to sign up if we reduce the remaining cost of the apprenticeship.

And I agree with you about the apprentice leaving their initial employer. I'm sure there were very good reasons for them to leave so close to completion.