COVID-19: The Impact on Apprenticeships

With the entire RateMyApprenticeship team working from home, we’ve been entertaining ourselves with weekly Best Lunch competitions, virtual show-and-tell, and even a free online happiness course at Yale University.

But fun and games aside, these are unprecedented times. So it’s natural for you to be feeling confused or concerned about what impact the coronavirus might have on your career. 

To shed some light on the situation, we’ve been keeping a close eye on government advice around apprenticeships, as well as speaking to individual employers to find out how they’re responding to the pandemic.

Here’s everything you need to know so far...

Advice for future apprentices

A recent survey by the Institute of Student Employers revealed that 23% of employers are cutting their apprenticeship and school leaver programmes due to the coronavirus.

But there’s good news! Plenty of employers ARE still hiring apprentices for this year. 

In fact, we’re currently advertising over 250 jobs in 19 different industries - including Hair & Beauty, Health & Social Care Services, and Digital Media & IT.  

Here’s how a few of the employers we work with are responding to COVID-19:

The one thing we all have right now is free time. Oodles of it. So why not use some of that time to explore your career options, and even start applying for schemes that are still running?

The majority of employers have reacted quickly to the pandemic, moving their application process online and onboarding their new apprentices remotely.

This means you will still get to meet employers ‘face-to-face’ and ask them any questions along the way. It will just be done via video interviews and virtual assessment centres, from the comfort of your own home.

For expert advice on how to ace video interviews, download our Guide to Career options 2020 (and scroll to page 21).

Our placement student Shoaib having a right laugh reading our Guide to Career Options 2020.

Advice for current apprentices

Firstly, don’t panic. Your employer will be doing everything they can to minimise disruption and ensure you can complete your apprenticeship.

Here’s what might happen to your apprenticeship during the coronavirus: 


If there’s enough work for you to get on with, and you are able to do your job from home, your employer may ask you to continue your apprenticeship remotely.

Upcoming assessments might be extended or rescheduled. But you should be able to continue the training element of your scheme online.

Training provider Warwick University, for example, has moved all their training online so that degree apprentices at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) can continue their apprenticeship from home.


You may have heard the word ‘furloughed’ being thrown around recently. If you are furloughed, that means that your employer is putting your apprenticeship on pause for a period of time.

Although you won’t undertake any work during this time (other than online training), the government will contribute up to 80% of your wages. Which means you will still get paid until the end of June. Hurrah!

Head over to our blog for 5 ways to entertain yourself in between all that Tik Tokking.  


Employers will only resort to using a Break in Learning if you are unable to take on any training or assessments due to COVID-19 related illness. The aim will be for your scheme to resume as soon as possible.  


If you are made redundant, the government will support you with finding alternative employment and continuing your apprenticeship. They promise to do this as quickly as possible and within 12 weeks.

Help a fellow apprentice out by sharing this blog.

Still got questions?

  • Contact your employer, as they will know better than anyone what is going on with your apprenticeship.
  • Speak to your careers advisor via phone or email for more general advice. 
  • Visit GOV.UK to stay in the loop with government updates.