Notice to Employers – First Rung Covid-19 Contingency Arrangements
19th March 2020
First Rung deeply values the partnership it has established with employers that provides high quality apprenticeship opportunities to young people and adults. We also appreciate hugely the support offered by employers to our apprentices in developing the skills that enable them progress positively in their careers.
We are conscious of the uncertainty that we will all face in the coming months and are committed to doing all we can to help our employers and apprentices deal with the challenges that lie ahead.
Further to the announcement by the Secretary of State First Rung centres will be closed from Monday 23rd March 2020 until further notice.
We are, therefore, writing to set out the arrangements that First Rung is putting in place in
to mitigate the impact of the closure as much as possible and continue to train and support apprentices using a number of delivery tools. These encompass:
(1) The OneFile E-portfolio system through which apprentices will continue to be able to upload their work, have it marked and receive feedback
(2) A range of online and hard copy resources and materials produced by awarding bodies
(3) A bespoke Microsoft Office 365 SharePoint platform through which we will deliver content to apprentices online
(4) The Zoom communication app which will complement the above tools by enabling us to speak to apprentices in real time. Needless to say, we will also be communicating as necessary with apprentices via phone.
We are currently putting the necessary systems in place to enable us activate these arrangements. We will be liaising on an ongoing basis with the line managers of the apprentices concerned throughout the duration of any shutdown.
We appreciate that the coming months will be a challenging time for employers and many, if not all, of you will find yourselves having to having to make difficult decisions in regard to staffing. In this context, we would encourage you to remember that our apprentices represent a key investment in the staffing resources you will need when we get through this period and ask that you continue to support them.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions about our contingency arrangements or anything else related to this matter.