Introduction to this document

Letter extending apprenticeship

If an apprentice hasn’t reached the standard necessary for completion of their apprenticeship by its end date, but you believe they’ll meet it within a further reasonable time period, you might want to agree to extend the end date using our letter.

A successful apprenticeship

Both our Approved English Apprenticeship Agreement (used for all new apprenticeships in England from 1 August 2020 and for those which started before that date where there was an approved apprenticeship standard for the role) and Apprenticeship Agreement (used for qualifying apprenticeship frameworks which started on or before 31 July 2020 in England and for all Welsh apprenticeship frameworks) provide for an apprentice’s apprenticeship to be for a fixed term.

Delayed completion

However, there may be cases where the apprentice doesn’t complete their apprenticeship on time because they haven’t attained the standard necessary for completion by its end date. This could occur if, say, they’ve been absent for a significant period during their apprenticeship, such as on long-term sick leave, or where they’ve struggled with their work-based or off-the-job training, or where they’ve failed to pass any required course work, tests or examinations at first attempt. In that case, provided you believe the apprentice will meet the required standard within a reasonable period of time, you might agree with them to extend the duration of their apprenticeship by a few weeks or months. This is where our Letter Extending Apprenticeship comes in.

An agreed extension

Our letter sets out the current end date of the apprenticeship, confirms why the apprentice will not now complete their apprenticeship by that date and therefore agrees a suitable and reasonable extension to enable completion. It then goes on to provide that the extension has been granted at your discretion and you may not be prepared to grant any further extensions. As such, if the apprentice fails to successfully complete their apprenticeship by the new end date, this is likely to result in the termination of their employment. It’s important that you don’t give any open-ended commitments; if the apprentice is unlikely to ever attain the standard necessary, or completion is going to take a significant further length of time, there’s probably no point in continuing. Where you do agree to extend an apprentice’s apprenticeship, it’s worth sitting down with them to make a list of what training still needs to be completed, or what course work, tests or examinations still need to be passed, during the extension period. That should help focus the apprentice’s mind.