June Newsletter

Hello and Welcome, 

In this newsletter we will be updating you on the following:

  • General Update
  • Levy Transfer Opportunities
  • Kickstart
  • Qualification of the Month
  • EPA Update
  • On-line FREE Webinar training events this Summer

General Update

Although May was a damp squib weather wise, it finished with a few glorious days of sunshine and the end of what has been a challenging but ultimately successful year for OAL, as throughout the various lockdowns, through our work with IfATE and the ESFA we were able to assist hundreds of apprentices through EPA who would have been stuck at Gateway without adaptations in place. As the prospect to the end of all lockdown restrictions appears ever closer on the horizon, OAL are still offering both face to face and remote EPA options and will continue to offer the Covid-19 Adaptations until their proposed removal on the 31st of August. However, we will continue with them longer if given dispensation to do so.

In this month’s newsletter we will look at Levy Transfer opportunities, the Kickstart Scheme, the continuing development of the OAL Portal, focus on OAL’s Retail qualification offering and look at the range of webinars and training events that we will host throughout May & June that are exclusive and free to OAL customers.

OAL Training & Events Calendar

Take a look at the webinars we have coming up this month!
Qualification of the Month

Last month we focussed on two qualifications OAL L3 Diploma in Food & Drink Engineering Maintenance (FFDEM) and OAL L2 Diploma in Manufacturing

This month we will be looking at OAL L4 Diploma in Retail Management. This qualification was developed in partnership with OAL customers such as Sainsbury’s and Screwfix and was designed to support the Apprenticeship Standards: Retailer, Retail Team Leader and Retail Manager but also to be delivered as stand-alone qualifications.

It has been used to give a standardised framework of delivery across the nations of the UK where apprenticeship standards and the use of the levy are not available. Whether it is internal delivery from an employer provider or from a training provider partner this OAL qualification is fully mapped to the three retail standards and are a superb added value offering to your customers.


The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to create new jobs for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long term unemployment. Employers of all sizes can apply for funding which covers:Employers can spread the job start dates up until 31 December 2021. You’ll get funding until 30 June 2022 if a young person starts their job on 31 December 2021.

Further funding is available for training and support so that young people on the scheme can get a job in the future.

The Kickstart scheme is an excellent feed in to apprenticeships so could form part of your future talent pipeline whilst supporting young people into work.

OAL offer a number of short courses and awards that could be delivered as part of your Kickstart programme and we could potentially endorse or accredit your full Kickstart programme.

For more information contact l.reddington@oawards.co.uk

EPA Update

Booking Forms
The EPA Registration & Booking forms have now been updated on the OAL Portal, so you will now notice a slight new look with some different title and system generated emails at each stage, including when the Gateway has been approved and bookings approved. These changes should make the portal even easier to use and make it easier for you to keep up to date with your EPA booking. It is important that you read the email templates as they contain key information that will ensure your EPA booking experience goes smoothly.
We would like to re-iterate the importance of keeping Start Dates and End Dates as accurate as possible on the booking forms. OAL use this information for capacity planning and to anticipate assessment peaks for specific standards which enables us to give you the quick turnaround you want from Gateway Submission to EPA Booking. You can change the expected end date as often as you like on the form and it is easy and simple to do – Please refer to guidance and videos if you are unsure of how to do this.
Support Videos
We now have a number of short support videos to helps you with a range of tasks and functions on the Portal, this includes, setting up new users, Gateways submissions, EPA bookings and requesting Reasonable Adjustments through the OAL Portal.
We also have an Apprentice Welcome video that contains EPA guidance for your Apprentice. This is a really helpful video explaining what apprentices can expect from EPA please use this and introduce it into your programme.

To access any of these videos please contact customerservice@oawards.co.uk
Levy Transfer Opportunities

OAL’s Parent Company the National Skills Academy for Food & Drink (NSAFD) are working with some of the largest employers in the food and drink sector to re-distribute unspent apprenticeship levy to smaller businesses within the food & drink sector. If you are working with any small employer who could benefit from levy transfer, removing the requirements for employer contribution to apprenticeship training, then please contact Amy Crooks at the NSAFD a.crooks@nsafd.co.uk
Thank you for your continued custom.
Jan Richardson-Wilde
Chief Executive Officer