Planning for the end of an apprenticeship

End-point Assessment (EPA)

For Standards Apprenticeships the apprentice must complete and pass their end-point assessment (EPA) to be successful in the apprenticeship and this needs to be factored into decisions about the end of apprenticeship contracts.

There are several methods of assessment that can be used in the EPA (a minimum of 2 methods will be applied) e.g. assessment methods such as an observation in the workplace where the apprenticeship has taken place, written tests or interviews.

What next?

We should wherever possible aim to employ our apprentices, but where we can't do this we need to support them to find alternative employment.

At the end of an apprenticeship, some of the options to consider are:

  • Employ – you will need to follow the usual HR processes if you want to follow this option.

  • Extend – is there a higher level of the apprenticeship available, and is it offered by a local training provider? Is further funding available for salary to extend the apprenticeship?

  • Support them in finding another role – make sure they know where vacancies at UoB can be found, signpost them to the Temporary Staffing Service (TSS), suggest they attend the Be a Better Internal Candidate workshop, offer them support in completing applications and being interviewed.

An apprentice’s contract with an employer is normally for a fixed term, but it is not legally considered to be a fixed term contract. The Fixed Term Employees Regulations actually excludes apprentices altogether.

Early termination of an apprenticeship contract

Apprenticeships end early generally for one of two reasons, the apprentice wants to leave, or the manager wants to terminate the apprenticeship contract.

The Apprentice wants to leave

Explore with the apprentice the reasons why they want to leave. Ensure there are no issues in the workplace or issues with the training provider that you aren’t aware of.

If an apprentice no longer wants to continue their employment with us they need to follow the procedure as set out in their terms and conditions. The line manager or HR will need to inform the training provider. Once agreed with the training provider you will need to contact to ask for the apprentice’s entry on the apprenticeship service to be closed so levy payments are stopped.

The Manager wants to terminate the apprenticeship contract

While the primary purpose of a regular employee is to undertake work for the employer, the focus for an apprentice is more on the facilitation of training and undertaking work that may enhance this process’

James Hall, Solicitor

Whilst apprentices at the university are subject to the terms and conditions of employees on Grades A-I, they are also employed under a contract of apprenticeship and are employees who have enhanced rights on termination of employment. The primary focus of an apprenticeship is important when considering how we view their progress, performance and conduct. The primary purpose of the apprenticeship is training, and an apprentice can therefore be dismissed if they are shown to be in effect ‘untrainable’. The onus is therefore on the University as an employer to show that as much was done as possible to facilitate their learning.

In a case of consistent poor work performance, the employer must be able to demonstrate that significant effort and assistance was given over a realistic period to the individual to support their training, but that following this the apprentice was still unable to perform sufficiently. As it is a training role then it would be reasonable to allow more time before determining if the apprentice was genuinely ‘untrainable’, and also to have offered a range of support measures, e.g. regular constructive feedback and action plans, additional one to one coaching, shadowing a colleague.

Similarly, in most cases of conduct and discipline it needs to be demonstrated that the behaviour of the apprentice was such that they were rendered ‘untrainable’. For example, if there is a consistent neglect of specific duties as an employer we need to show that the apprentice was made aware of their behaviour and also of the expected standard required – not just telling them what you don’t want but describing to them what you do want. The apprentice should be given a realistic period to implement this and be given on-going clear, constructive feedback aimed at supporting them to improve.

As an employee, an apprentice can be dismissed for serious misconduct as per the Conduct Procedures (Ordinance 28).

Career management resources

Our KnowHow library offers a range of online learning resources, including handy articles and tips to help with job hunting, and application and interview skills

Contact us

If you have any questions about employing an apprentice that are not answered on these pages, get in touch with us at

Edit this page