The University, through its Global and Lifelong Learning (GLL) department, has developed this apprenticeships continuity plan, to meet the requirements of Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).
This plan is designed to provide assurance that the risks that could impact apprentices’ ability to successfully undertake or complete their courses have been considered and that contingencies are in place to mitigate these risks.
2. Aim of this Plan
The interests of all of the University’s apprentices are paramount and all efforts will be made to ensure they are able to continue to progress through and complete the course of study for which they are registered.
This plan should be considered alongside the University’s Serious Incidents and Business Continuity Plan and Student Protection Plan.
3. Apprenticeships at Kent
3.1 The University of Kent Apprenticeship courses provide an integrated study and work experience, where apprentices can gain valuable workplace skills whilst fulfilling their academic requirements. Provision is offered via non-traditional delivery routes including digital, on-line and blended learning, as well as face-to-face block teaching. This plan takes into account these methods of delivery when assessing related risks and mitigations.
3.2 It is recognised that each apprentice may be affected in different ways if an identified risk were to occur. As such the GLL Apprenticeships team would provide employers and apprentices with guidance and advice that is specific to their individual needs in order to ensure that they receive appropriate support.
3.3 This plan will be reviewed by GLL annually and submitted to the Apprenticeships Governance Committee for approval.
4. Continuity of Study
4.1 In the event that it was not possible to deliver a component of learning to apprentices the University would make arrangements to ensure that apprentices could continue to study.
4.1.1 Mitigations would include, as appropriate:
• Re-scheduling of delivery/assessment with apprentice and employer agreement;
• Delivering learning in a modified way (i.e. moving face-to-face learning to online delivery);
• Identifying and securing alternative sites for face-to-face delivery
This list is not exhaustive.
4.2 The University protects its business continuity through its Serious Incidents and Business Continuity Plan the aim of which is to provide a framework for handling serious incidents that have the potential to disrupt or damage university operations.
4.3 In line with its Student Protection Plan, the University is committed to ensuring that all efforts will be made to ensure any Kent registered student, including apprentices, are able to complete the course of study (including apprenticeships) for which they are registered.
4.4 In the unlikely event the University were unable to continue the delivery of an apprenticeship course due to no longer being listed on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP) Kent will work with the ESFA to put in place arrangements that will minimise disruption to apprentices and employers.
4.5 Functional Skills diagnostic testing at the onset of the apprenticeship are online through BKSB/Aptem. The University holds a hard copy of the test in case of internet failure. For apprentices requiring a level 2 qualification the University offers GCSE via a choice of face-to-face teaching or online.
5. Virtual Learning Environment
5.1 The University utilises Moodle as its virtual learning environment. Through Moodle the University hosts all course content (module and course specifications, study guides, assessment requirements) for apprenticeship learners.
5.2 The apprentices’ online study materials are available via Moodle. If Moodle were to experience disruption, apprentices may experience delay in their studies.
5.3 There are a number of mechanisms in place to reduce the risk of Moodle being disrupted these include:
- Immediate response by University Information Services and/ E-Learning Team to address any issues with the platform.
- Ensuring that issues can be resolved without reliance on third-party providers.
- Use of multiple servers so if one server fails, users are directed to an alternative.
- A queuing system within Moodle that enables students to continue making assessment submissions even in the event of a Turnitin outage.
- In the event that Moodle is unavailable guidance is provided to module convenors to use email to send out key readings and resources until the service is restored.
- The University data centre has both an interim battery UPS (Uninterruptible power supply) and a standby generator.
The University has resilient links to/from the internet to ensure that a single break in connectivity doesn’t cause a loss of service because if this happens an alternative connection is used.
5.4 In the unlikely event that Moodle was to be unavailable this would be further mitigated by the online hosting of material meaning apprentices could access materials at a later date, with the course team able to offer any extension to submission requirements (where applicable) on an ad hoc basis, in line with the University’s Credit Framework. This would ensure apprentices are not penalised for the disruption caused. There is also time built into the overall course which allows an apprentice to catch up on a missed learning day.
6.1 Whilst the employers are responsible for the apprentices during their four work days, the University has an overarching responsibility for their safety and wellbeing throughout their time studying at Kent.
6.2 The University mitigates any risks to apprentice welfare by operating a Safeguarding and Prevent Policy, with trained apprenticeship safeguarding offices able to act as a point of contact should an incident occur.
6.3 In addition, apprentices have a named Apprenticeship Advisor to whom they can report any concerns both with employment or study. Interactions with Apprenticeship Advisors are carried out on at least an 8–12-week basis, and both apprentices and employers are provided with information of University safeguarding (including the names of Safeguarding Officers), wellbeing and bullying and harassment policies/services at induction and throughout their apprenticeship.
6.4 The University’s Apprenticeships Governance Committee monitors termly indicators related to apprentice safety and wellbeing both during study and work time.
7. Loss of Premises
7.1 The University has a range of locations and extensive facilities which it is able to utilise in the delivery of apprenticeships.
7.2 Should teaching spaces required for face-to-face delivery be rendered unavailable then alternative arrangements can be made, such as ensuring that learning can take place either at a different university location or using different facilities on the same teaching site.
7.3 Where viable it would also be possible to deliver face-to-face teaching in a modified way, for example through moving teaching online, until such time as premises had been secured.
8.1 Where any change of study location is required, any alternative premises would be located as close as practicably possible to mitigate transport disruption to apprentices. Whilst apprentices are responsible for making their own arrangements to attend work or study, if alternative premises could not be easily accessed by normal methods of transport (i.e. public transport) the University would work with individual apprentices and employers to find workable solutions. If the apprentice incurs additional costs in travelling to a temporary or new location then this will be reimbursed.
9. Loss of Key Staff
9.1 Kent is a large and diverse organisation which means that in the event key personnel involved in the delivery of the apprenticeships become unavailable, other staff members with appropriate skills and training will be able to ensure delivery.
9.2 Divisions involved in delivery of apprenticeships at Kent are well-staffed. However, in the unlikely event that there should be an unexpected shortfall in staff resource, appropriately qualified individuals within the Division can be offered an 'over and above' payment in return for the fulfilment of additional teaching activities. In addition, the University employs hourly-paid lecturers, who are able to work flexibly to help freeing time for other members of staff to work on the apprenticeship courses.
9.3 In the event of needing additional administrative staff to support apprenticeships the University operates a bank of temporary staff, as well as a secondment system. The temp bank comprises a pool of staff who are readily available to take up administrative roles for fixed term periods, and the University's Human Resources department would match the appropriate individual to each vacancy.
10. Loss of Digital Information
10.1 Kent servers are backed up daily, with a back-up server held off-site. This mitigates any risk to loss of data.
10.2 The University, through its Information Services department, operates policies to mitigate any risk to data through its Information Security Policy and IT Security Procedures.
10.3 The University is committed to maintaining a strong cyber security and in recognition of this has been awarded the Cyber Essentials certificate.
11.1 Should an incident occur the University holds the contact details of both apprentices and employers ensuring that the nature of the incident, and the steps being taken to mitigate would be directly communicated to those affected.
11.2 Should an incident mean the University’s normal methods of communication were unavailable (i.e. email or other systems outage) the University, through its Corporate Communications team would ensure that key messages were put out on their social media sites including the following:
11.3 These channels would be monitored for comments and questions concerning the incident and replied to where appropriate.
12. Points of Contact
12.1 The University provides points of contact for apprentices and employers.
12.2 Apprenticeship Queries – each apprentice will have a dedicated Apprenticeship Advisor and they will receive their Advisor’s email address and telephone number for queries during office hours (9am- 5pm).
12.3 In addition Global and Lifelong Learning can be contacted with queries related to apprenticeships firstname.lastname@example.org
01634 888929 (9am-4:30pm).
12.4 Employers can direct queries to the GLL Business Development and Relationships Manager email@example.com
12.5 For IT technical issues apprentices/employers can email UKMhelpdesk@kent.ac.uk
12.6 The University also has out of hours contacts, should apprentices require emergency support outside of office hours: https://www.kent.ac.uk/student-support/emergency-support
12.7 Apprentices can also contact the Education and Skills Funding Agency - 0370 2670001
Global and Lifelong Learning (GLL) 01634 888929 (9am-4:30pm) firstname.lastname@example.org
GLL Business Development and Relationship Manager 07921 487652 email@example.com
GLL Programme and Administration Manager 01634 888949 Dallpam@kent.ac.uk
Health and Safety Representative for GLL
Clair Sanderson 01634 888949 Dallpam@kent.ac.uk
Business Development and Marketing Officers
Amy Murphy 07715 213 064
Ella Payne (Wednesday/Thursday)
IT technical issues
Emergency Support https://www.kent.ac.uk/studentsupport/emergency-support
Education and Skills Funding Agency
Kent EPA Team
01634 888 865 01634 888 150 firstname.lastname@example.org
End-Point Assessment Organisations
SIAS 01925 515 211 Info@siasuk.com
HEE 0121 213 1995 email@example.com
Marshall Assessment 0121 516 4283 Helpdesk@marshall-assessment.com
OR Society 0121 233 9300 https://www.theorsociety.com/contact-us/
NCTJ 01799 544 014 Info@nctj.com
Innovate Awarding 01173 142 800 firstname.lastname@example.org
CMI 020 7497 0580 Emilia.email@example.com
Apprenticeship Advisors - Available 9:00 - 16:30 Mon - Fri
Science Apprenticeship Advisors:
Jess Hayward 07902 401 478
Rosanna Lee 07874 885 287
Janis Sambrook 07793 591 075
Jane Mallion 07872 990 036
Professional Economics Apprenticeship Advisors:
Sarah Tickner Tuesday – Thursday 07894 752 327
Shareen Kelly 07725 745 656
Rebecca Silk Tuesday – Thursday 07874 885 288
Chartered Manager Apprenticeship Advisors:
Loreta Jarvis 07874 885 285
Sarah Littlejohn Monday/Wednesday/ Thursday (London)
Molly Johnson Monday, Tuesday and Friday (London) 07902 401 477
Trevor Lovett (London) 07542 028 498
Senior Leader Apprenticeship Advisors:
Loreta Jarvis 07874 885 285
Trevor Lovett (London) 07542 028 498
Policy Officer Apprenticeship Advisors:
Loreta Jarvis 07874 885 285
Operational Research Specialist Apprenticeship Advisors:
Sarah Davis 07902 401 479
Social Work Specialist Apprenticeship Advisors:
Sarah Davis 07902 401 479
Trudi Oseman 07902 401 439
Senior Journalist Apprenticeship Advisors:
Molly Johnson Monday, Tuesday and Friday 07902 401 477
Download the policy here:
Approved by: Apprenticeships Governance Committee Effective from: October 2021
Date of Next Review: October 2022