SIGTA - Coronavirus Update
In view of the rapidly evolving situation regarding COVID-19, I would like to provide you with reassurance that SIGTA is monitoring the situation closely and to update you on SIGTA’s current position.
Our number one priority is for the safety and wellbeing of our staff and learners. To achieve this we are making appropriate changes to our working practices to ensure we maintain a ‘business as usual’ approach to working, whilst acting in accordance with Government advice to prevent the transmission of the Covid-19 virus through sensible measures such as good hygiene, social distancing and reduced site-to-site travel.
Apprentice Training Review Meetings
Where possible, apprentice training/review meetings conducted by SIGTA training staff will be undertaken remotely using the telephone, emailing of work, skype, etc. SIGTA Training Officers will work with individual employers and apprentices to determine the most effective way to make this work.
By exception, some face-to-face training and assessment meetings will still be required, particularly where apprentices are nearing completion. When required, these meetings will be arranged taking into account the latest Government advice, the employers own Covid-19 policies/requirements and the current assessment of local risk. Meetings will only proceed when both SIGTA and the employer are in agreement that they should take place.
Apprentices attending College
Where colleges are no longer able to deliver face-to-face-teaching, they will be moving to alternative methods to deliver on-line learning and remote working away from the campus. We would ask all employers to ensure their apprentices are aware of the advice given by the college in relation to their programme of study. Apprentices should still be given the time required to complete the off-the-job learning activates set by the college. In this fast-changing and challenging situation, it is understandable that some disruption may occur as colleges adapt to this method of delivery. SIGTA will be monitoring this situation closely with the colleges and would appreciate any relevant feedback from apprentices and employers. If your apprentices are unsure what is required of them, please encourage them to contact their SIGTA Training Officer for further advice and guidance.
Disruption to normal Apprentice working
We appreciate that employers will take appropriate steps to safeguard their own workforce and in some situations this will impact on the normal working patterns of apprentices. In addition, some apprentices will be required to self-isolate under current Government guidelines. Where this is the case, we would encourage apprentices to work from home on relevant activates/projects set by the employer and training tasks, assignments, etc. set by SIGTA or, where relevant, the college. As you are aware, apprentices are required to complete a minimum 20% off-the-job training during the paid hours of their apprenticeship. The activities described here will contribute towards off-the-job training requirements and will help to ensure apprentices are still actively engaged in learning during this period.
Please keep SIGTA informed if normal patterns of work change, apprentices are required to self-isolate, or apprentices are medically diagnosed with the Covid-19 virus. SIGTA is required to report this information to the Education Skills Funding Agency ESFA. In the first instance please communicate this to your SIGTA Training Officer.
SIGTA Short Courses
As normal, please continue to discuss your short course training requirements with SIGTA and reserve places on future courses.
In order to comply with Government advice, some scheduled face-to-face courses are likely to be deferred and the dates for future bookings will be finalised when adherence to Government advice makes this possible.
SIGTA will contact employers individually if the dates for any booked training courses need to be change.
Please do discuss your training needs with us and we will do all we can to assist.
As we all find ourselves in an unprecedented situation, we will deal with each and every situation and circumstance as it unfolds, please do not hesitate to contact any member of the SIGTA team for advice and guidance relating to the services we provide.
We will continue to be guided by Government instructions and information and will provide additional updates as required.
I wish you and your staff well as we all work our way through this challenging period.