Apprenticeships - end of contract
Guidance for apprentices and managers as the end of the apprenticeship approaches
Appointment to an Apprenticeship carries with it no commitment to a subsequent appointment with the University on completion of the Apprenticeship. Whilst apprentices are placed into fixed-term Apprenticeship appointments, they are not considered to be fixed-term employees, and are excluded from the provisions of the Fixed-Term Employee Regulations. Therefore, the University’s procedure for the end of fixed-term contracts does not apply to apprentices. For more details, please see the Government guidance on what counts as a fixed term contract.
As the end of the Apprenticeship approaches, departments need to think about the next steps for their apprentice. Departments should provide support to their apprentices accordingly and encourage them to think about their future career, and whether they wish to pursue it within the University.
The departmental HR lead should meet with the apprentice three months before the end date of their Apprenticeship to explain what support and guidance the department can offer. At this meeting, the HR lead should discuss whether it is likely there will be a position available to the apprentice within the department following the completion of their Apprenticeship. If there is a suitable job available to the apprentice, then the normal procedures for evaluating the job and offering employment should be followed. In cases where there is no further employment available to the apprentice, the HR lead should explain this clearly, and offer support to redeploy the apprentice into another position within the University, if possible.
Whilst the University cannot and does not guarantee a subsequent appointment following the completion of an Apprenticeship, it is hoped that the skills and experience the apprentice has acquired throughout their Apprenticeship can be retained within the department. Where an apprentice successfully attains their qualification(s) and can demonstrate satisfactory competence, and where the opportunity exists, they can be directly appointed into the job for which the Apprenticeship was intended, by following the guidance below.
Apprentices are not permitted to take up paid employment in any other University department or division, unless they are within the last three months of their Apprenticeship.
In some cases, a suitable vacancy may arise in the employing department within the last six months of the Apprenticeship. In order to be considered for a direct appointment into such a post in the department without it being advertised more widely, the apprentice must normally have:
- completed the appropriate training period;
- attended the course of study and attained the appropriate qualification(s); and
- demonstrated satisfactory competence in the role.
If there is a suitable post available and the apprentice has satisfied the division/department of their competence to perform at the required grade, the department should follow the University’s guidance on Recruitment without advertising ('direct appointments').
Where an apprentice is successfully appointed into another role within the department, a new, standard contract of employment should be issued. If there is no break in continuous service with the University between the appointments, the start date of the Apprenticeship will be used as the date of the continuous service with the University. Continuous service is used for the purposes of certain entitlements, such as sick pay.
In cases where a subsequent appointment cannot be offered in the employing department, departments should think about how they can assist the apprentice to find a new employment opportunity. The department may wish to provide general support with job searching, in areas such as CV writing and interview preparation, or support in applying for specific posts, either within the University or externally. The apprentice’s supervisor, mentor or the department’s HR lead may be the most appropriate people to assist with these activities. In addition, the University Apprenticeships team will offer careers support and skills training to all our apprentices throughout their training period to prepare them for the next steps of their career journeys.
The University of Oxford Temporary Staffing Service provides excellent opportunities in a range of roles within the University and can be a good way for apprentices to gain further experience before progressing into a permanent role.
Upon completion of an employee's apprenticeship, their UDF within PeopleXD should be updated, filling in the following fields:
- completion date - indicating the date the employee completed their apprenticeship
- to date - to match the completion date
- where to after - choose from the drop down to indicate the employee's next steps
- any additional notes which may be useful