Safer workplaces for apprentices and the role of off-the-job training

This month Highfield is putting a focus on safer workplaces as part of our campaign to raise awareness of safer working practices.

But how do you ensure you can offer apprentices a realistic introduction to the world of work while keeping them safe?

Apprentices are often new to the world of work, and on the first rung of the career ladder. This can leave them vulnerable to bad practice and at risk of coming to harm in the workplace.

The on-programme phase of the apprenticeship is designed to equip the learner with the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for their specific apprenticeship standard. We can help ensure the apprentice meets these requirements, but does this relatively narrow set of knowledge, skills and behaviours go far enough to ensure a safe working environment?

20 percent off-the-job training
The 20 percent off-the-job training requirement, which can often be seen as a burden to employers, can, if utilised effectively, be an ideal time to broaden an apprentice’s knowledge and ensure that they are working safely and efficiently.

Off-the-job training doesn’t have to relate to the day-to-day tasks of the apprentice, but it does have to be relevant to the sector the apprentice is looking to work within.

Additional qualifications
Off-the-job training can take many forms. It can include gaining additional qualifications that are relevant to the type of job being performed. It may include subjects such as manual handling, fire safety or, depending on the sector, COSHH or security qualifications.

E-learning courses offer another chance for learners to meet their 20 perecent off-the-job training requirement while also picking up valuable skills that lead to safer workplaces. Highfield e-learning offers a range of courses that can contribute to a safer working environment including manual handling, an introduction to fire safety in the workplace, and a suite of health and safety in the workplace courses. Each comes with a completion certificate that provides a simple way to evidence an apprentice’s off-the-job training.

Protecting employers
As an employer you may be thinking, ‘What’s in it for me?’ when it comes to training an apprentice beyond the scope of the apprenticeship they are undertaking. It’s a fair question. By training an apprentice effectively in a wide range of subjects related to workplace safety, you not only have a highly engaged, well-developed apprentice, but you also protect yourself. You protect yourself from potential reputational damage should an untrained employee come to harm. You protect yourself from litigious claims and higher insurance premiums. You position yourself as an employer that cares about their workforce, doing all you can to ensure the safety of all of your employees.

How Highfield can help
We’ve been providing industry-leading training materials that have supported the delivery of safety qualifications for four decades. We offer a range of e-learning safety courses that can be worked through at an apprentice’s own pace.

If you’d like more information on how we can support your off-the-job training and on-programme delivery, call us today on 0845 226 0350/01302 363277 or email




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