Gary Petley

Block Release Definition - Apprenticeships


We have apprentices with one Employer that get a block release of a week - 6 times during their apprenticeship. So about 40% to 50% of the OTJ could be delivered in these weeks.

Can this be classified as Block Release Delivery - and need to be seen every 3 months? The definition in the funding rules is not clear if it means the whole delivery - over 50% - just one week would count? I guess the Characterised is saying over 50%?

A delivery model characterised by the apprentice undertaking active learning in ‘blocks’ of a week or more at a time (a week is defined as 30 hours). Block release concentrates the learning experience for apprentices, meaning that they will learn a lot of skills and knowledge in a relatively short space of time, ensuring they will be able to perform well on the job when they return.  


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Ben James

Are you saying that part of the training for these apprentices is delivered via a block release format, but some is delivered via another model (e.g., day release)?

If so, my interpretation of the rules around this are that you need to follow those which apply to the delivery model being used at any given time. For instance, if the first 6 months of a 12 month apprenticeship was being delivered via block release, the rules as outlined in P81-82 would apply. If the last 6 months were being delivered via day release, then P83 would apply. This assumes that a hybrid delivery model has been outlined in the training plan, and agreed by all parties. 

I don't think it's reasonable to imagine that you'd be able to 'exploit' the more relaxed rules around block release training in months 7-12 of this imaginary apprenticeship, on the basis that this is not the delivery model the apprentices are following during this time. Similarly, I don't think it's reasonable to expect monthly off-the-job evidence if the delivery model in months 1-6 is quite clearly block release.

This is quite new though, which is to say other interpretations will doubtless exist and may be valid.