Initial Results from @AELPUK Member Provider Survey (as of 25 March 2020)

After the DfE announcement of 23 March on apprenticeships, 279 providers of all types responded to the AELP impact survey by the end of 25 March.

Here are the initial results:

The following information is a summary of data out of 279 responses (as of 25th March):

Total number of staff in organisations


Number of apprentices


Number of other learners


Of the providers, the following is the likely action they will need to take:









(Note: some providers gave multiple answers to the above question)

Of those closing, they currently have:




Other learners






Of those mothballing, they have indicated they have:

Apprentices (currently)


Other learners




The situation will become considerably worse over the next few days.

Provider Comments

In submitting their data, providers made the following comments:

  • 60% of our apprentices are NHS and all of them are set to be suspended by Gold Command until further notice, although I suspect it will be longer than 3 months. So we would lose 50 apprentices almost immediately that are based in industry and the rest are at risk as we may not be around when they return as we are unable to.
  • 1,500 of our apprentices cannot complete this year as no exams and functional skills provision.
  • Told ESFA territory manager that we will have to hand 500 apprentices over to them at the end of April.
  • 80% of Apprenticeship and work based learning staff will be laid off - 16-19 study programme depends if they do or do not carry on funding payments based on actual.
  • If we have to close down then all will lose their jobs. Some staff are part time or self employed; hence the ratio to apprentices. If the revenue is stopped then we have 6 weeks reserve capital. The business loan system requires guarantees and security. Would anyone seriously put their house on the line given the treatment of ITPs?
  • We announced today the layoff of 52 of our 81 staff.
  • We can't operate our traineeship or study programmes. They are disadvantaged learners 4 x more likely to be on free school meals. It has proven almost impossible to implement digital learning when they live on the breadline. We are keeping phone contact but they are unable to attend work placements or engage in meaningful learning.
  • If we are not able to draw down at least 50% of our current income levels we would be unsustainable as a business beyond a few months. This will have a knock on impact on our whole offer and also our Homeworks Project, that provides support for over 2,000 vulnerable residents in conjunction with our study programme.
  • We are unable to continue to deliver our training as Job Centres are our main referral source and these have now been closed.
  • The majority of our learners are hard to engage people from areas of high deprivation. Remote working is very difficult because the majority do not have the technology or can’t afford the data to learn from home. Use of phones has its limits because of size and suitable apps, and most of our learners are on PASYG and normally rely on public buildings for wifi access. They are also less motivated and equipped to access learning without the face to face support of our staff.
  • We are in the hair and beauty sector where salons have closed and are likely to make staff redundant with no income coming in. I would imagine that 95% of staff in this sector will have been put on furlough with the remaining made redundant with salons having to close. This figure could be even more dramatic in real terms over time.
  • SETA has 250 engineering apprentices that cannot engage in training anywhere else in the UK. Enforced closures and travel restrictions mean this training aspects for these individuals can only be managed via remote access/distance learning and telephone reviews between apprentices and key staff. Existing funding methodology and payment mechanisms are inflexible to global crisis and unless this is reviewed SETA will be forced to make difficult decisions going forward.
  • Work mainly in NHS. Lockdown means all training is on hold we cannot remote support. Breaks in Learning (BILs) means no opportunities. No new starts and EPA break means no achievement income. Our funding access is completely disappearing. We are already immediately reducing our workforce by a 3rd but by month 3 this will be 2/3rd at minimum.
  • 450 apprentices may need to change tutor, may struggle to access prompt support, sessions may be limited.
  • We closed 3 centres last week and kept two open to carry on with appropriate learning. These were closed today.
  • Learners are scared. The employers are scared. Providers are scared. Classrooms won't change this and we will not put staff or learners at risk. Closure is closure.
  • It has taken five years to build a team of loyal, dedicated, hard working and qualified people so laying people off would not only throw away those years of investment, but it would make it very difficult to continue after this period. Furlough is an opportunity to retain staff but it won't give us the capacity to continue.
  • 1,200 learners - vast majority likely to be laid off by employers.
  • If we cannot turn this around via new homeworking strategies, 50%+ of staff will be furloughed in the first phase (mainly sales, management & admin). We had built up a team in order to kick on for growth after a fabulous Ofsted Monitoring visit report (SP+SP+SP). This strategy now seems silly in retrospect. Our EPA between 25 and 50% of the staff.
  • My guess, half the apprentices stopping, circa 1,000. 20% of the 16 to 18’s on programme. All the 8,000 ESF as the supply chain have to stop delivering.
  • We are still supporting EHCP learners, 499 supported by home workers vis web and postal assignments; if the ESFA do not continue to pay for the volumes we have to review. If we are able to claim back the 80% of salary then we will hopefully be able to pick back up again providing employers are still willing to take on and train apprentices.
  • As an Employer Provider it has huge impacts, the centres still have a cost to maintain levels, utility etc. All staff have been put on furlough to try and sustain the provision.
  • We are partially open as the local NHS Trust are using our classrooms, free of charge, for upskilling returning staff in response to the emergency.
  • Administration staff will be furloughed from May 2020 until further notice. The biggest impact will be seen when we return to normality and try to get vast numbers of learners through EPA. We are also expecting a drastic drop in starts for September due to barriers with advocacy and interviews that normally take place prior.
  • We are unable to deliver any AEB learning as this cannot be taught at a distance and the majority of these learners do not have access to suitable IT. We are not open to any learners until the restrictions on school/college opening is revoked - we need to be able to restart when possible; we don't work term times.
  • It is expected 50% of total learners will not be able to access on going learning.
  • We are no longer able to provide space for EHCP learners, nor support their one-to-one learning.
  • It is the apprentices being made redundant that is the issue.
  • Impact currently on no starts as enrolment of apprentices can’t be done. As we look to furlough employees to survive apprentices will still have access to learning.
  • 100% learners are being put on a break in learning and furloughed.
  • To ensure the integrity of the apprenticeship, 120 have gone into break in learning.
  • Future is potentially close as really hard to recover. Working mainly in the NHS, this isn't going to disappear overnight after a few weeks self isolation.
  • 50% of our learners will experience impact - as staff left in the business take on much larger caseloads.
  • 150 apprentices and 20 other provision will not be able to continue with learning.
  • If we downsize we would expect to loose 150 apprentices and depending on funding for study programme it could mean full closure.
  • 160 Apprentices plus all those waiting to be enrolled.
  • Our own apprentices are still employed as healthcare support workers and will so be required to do this work by clinical services 100% of the time.
  • It will affect all our learners, as salons have all closed, some learners may lose their jobs due to the situation so we will ultimately lose apprentices.
  • If ESFA / DfE do not fund any provision moving forward we would need to downsize by 80% enabling 20% to delivery online learning to larger groups.
  • 100% - We have fully closed all of our delivery
  • We would not be able to continue to provide any on-going support to those current students (1,722) as we would be having to lay-off all staff without further support.
  • We will not be able to continue working with our apprentices while we are shut down and if we are not being paid by the ESFA.
  • The daily challenges are immense, trying to accommodate business needs, that of their staff as well as learners and employers with an acceptance that cash flow will run short.
  • We have closed our centre; all of our programmes involve classroom based learning; the duration of this closure will impact how far behind learners are with their courses.
  • AEB has been mothballed; apprenticeships, we have moved assessor caseloads around and furloughed others as we cannot have under utlised assessors or part timers.
  • We have completely closed our premises. Originally, we had planned to continue to offer examination sittings which are a revenue source for us but we are no longer able to do this either. as discussed above we have transitioned to an entirely online model for the time being.
  • Is employers closing and access to learners which is main issue.
  • The huge recovery from this - rebooking learners, human resource/ backlog due to closure of our venue will take time. We have 71 learners already waiting over 3 months for EPA, we have another 120 due to complete over the next 3 months. If we can’t access the achievement payment because of Covid-19, how can we survive?
  • We're not able to open at all - the building is closed. Our training is face to face and involves learners working together. Experience of doing this online is really hard.
  • In addition to cancelling all practical session for apprentices, the organisation has had to cancel all of our full-cost provision due to the requirement for social distancing - these courses cannot be delivered on a one-to-one basis as they are predominantly construction practical training delivered in groups and the courses are not cost effect to run on a one-to-one basis. - 5 week practical City & Guilds Level 3 Armed Forces Resettlement programme due to start on 23rd March = income
  • We are currently fully operational and working remotely but seriously considering cost implications and potential ESFA audit errors / claw back.
  • Apprentices being furloughed and not able to undertake apprenticeship work.
  • We are closed and doing remote learning. However, if the apprentice go 4 weeks without learning we have to have a break in learning which means NO income. If we were a school or college income would be guaranteed. It feels like the actions are designed to penalise independent training providers.
  • If more financial support is not given to providers, then as employers lay off learners, and start dry up, then providers will go under.
  • We cannot deliver Functional Skills in the classroom which means this area of apprenticeships is on hold at present.
  • Premises are currently closed; therefore no fully costed courses or AEB courses can be delivered resulting in a significant loss of income. All staff are working from home.
  • Leanr Plus Us has been a classroom based skills provider; Covid 19 has meant that our entire business model has had to be changed to a digital one almost overnight.
  • BiL is not the answer. Sign ups are down so long term risk. Bottom line is a financial guarantee payment scheme
  • Initial discussions are anticipating approx. 55 staff may be laid off
  • Hard to answer as we don’t know what is going to happen, for how long but could lose 20% of staff at least looking at current learner/apprentice retention. I expect
  • All staff at current are looking at being laid off
  • 2 already furloughed with a plan to half our assessor team via furlough.
  • Already going to a reduced working week and will have to seriously consider large furlough (50%) with 4-6 weeks.
  • We have now furloughed 40% of staff, and expect this figure to continue to rise. Significant redundancies will follow, IF we can survive a period of time without support.
  • Potentially furloughing up to 50% = 75 staff
  • 5 Members of staff laid off (45%)
  • The long term impact to our centre will depend on the length of time funding can be received to support the work staff still continue to do with learners remotely under the circumstances. If funding becomes unavailable to support learners during this time, then we will have no other alternative than to reduce the number of staff.
  • Expect I will need to furlough 60% - 70%+ of staff. Will put severe additional pressure on the staff we can sustain in the business.
  • Approximately 50% of staff (those without vulnerability health status) will be re-deployed imminently to support critical services. Approximately 10% casual staff risk - 23 staff
  • Approximately 60% of our staff, in addition we will not be unable to support our sub-contractors and it is very unlikely 4 of them will survive.
  • Staff put on Furlough, 95%
  • 80 percent of staff have been laid off.
  • Staff already moved to 'Furlough Workers' in order to prevent full lay off. Situation under review whilst AO's react to full distant learning and assessment plans.
  • 25% to 50%, depending on the level of engagement in these trying times.
  • 25% initially furloughed. To be reviewed daily/weekly/monthly. Reduction in actual income linked to reduction in starts and employers furloughing their employees will force more cuts and possible closure. We had significant growth plans e.g. March, April, May with a pipeline of around 150 starts but none of these can now begin.
  • 17 staff members, 10 of which have been furloughed - 58% We are now working with 41% of staff trying to keep the 20% off the job training going for the apprentices including reviews, setting on line work, supporting our subcontractors and checking attendance. As well as employer support and advice, safeguarding and mental health.
  • Potentially all laid off.
  • Staff reduction in hours work therefore paid less - 100%. Possible layoffs 2.
  • Funding issues and flexibilities on assessment requested as currently outlined by AELP - company would cease to trade if these are not agreed and break in learning.
  • Reduced hours for 95%.
  • Approximately 50% of our workforce work directly with apprentices including support staff, Instructors and assessors.
  • All apprentices have been furloughed. If funded we can still offer training and support; if we are not funded all provider staff will need to be furloughed.
  • 75% furloughed and pause on apprenticeship progress.
  • 100% of the workforce, i.e. 25 members of staff, potentially laid off.
  • About 50% reduction in staffing is possible
  • 50% reduction in staff.
  • 75% of staff could be laid off.
  • We are currently laying off about half of our workforce.
  • 100% potential lay-offs
  • 50 %
  • Initially 33% of staff laid off with short time working for all others (75%). Further lay offs to follow in summer
  • Furloughing 3 in April. Potentially everyone in May - 12 people.
  • All staff on 80% of their wage.
  • 65 staff potentially out of work, all highly skilled in the sector.
  • 50% facing lay-off.
  • 100% of staff have been moved to a 4 day week. 25% have been furloughed and this number might increase over the coming weeks. 3 contractors have had their 50% of staff will be made redundant in 3 months time.
  • 100 per cent possible redundancy
  • Staff may have to go down to reduced hours or redundancies will be imposed as a last resort
  • 100% laid off possible
  • 80pc would need to be paid off
  • All staff are in danger of losing their jobs
  • 70% - 80% staff to be furloughed
  • 70% potentially redundant
  • There is a potential for all staff to be laid off if we are unable to confirm furloughed worker status for a period fitting a reasonable break in learning. Could equal 100%. Without the government’s job retention scheme being put in place, there is a risk that staff will seek alternative employment.
  • We are not sure yet but for speed: assume 60% to 75%. Approx. 120 to 150 laid off.
  • If we lay staff off they may never come back 85% working from home rest operating EHCP in Rotherham, Corby and Warrington. Staff working from home on full pay
  • If we stop receiving funding due to work being forced to stop, then 100% could lose employment
  • Putting 50% of staff on job retention scheme and likely redundancy in 2 months

Association of Employment and Learning Providers

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