For all of us right now it is a challenging time while we do our best to take care of ourselves, our families, loved ones and the wider communities where we all live and work.

As a provider of Employment Services, I want to let you know that we have robust plans in place to support the continued provision of Graduate placements and Apprenticeship services to customers throughout England and we’re working in a number of ways to make sure we keep doing that. The safety of customers, partners and our colleagues are a priority and we’re closely linked into the Government’s latest advice as it develops and are providing this directly to Cogent Skills employed apprentices and graduate placement students.

Working together to keep our Apprenticeships & Graduates supported

  • If you are due a visit from one of our skills account managers (SAM) these will now be conducted remotely through Skype, other virtual facilities or telephone.
  • Our skills account managers will continue to support all hosted graduate placement students and apprentices employed through the Cogent Skills outsourced employer services model and apprenticeship training agency (ATA)
  • All our support services including: Human Resources, Payroll, Recruitment, Employment Support, Contracting, Finance and IT all continue to operate.
  • We are also checking as we continue to arrange remote review appointments that all our apprentices and graduate placements are well, offering support on staying well and if they are unwell providing information on what to do next.
  • If apprentices and graduates have been asked to work from home, we are providing information and support on how to do this from a practical, H&S, Mental Health and wellbeing viewpoint.
  • Apprentices working from home can continue receiving knowledge learning and support from their training provider, college or university through the virtual learning environment and video conferencing.
  • Apprentices still working on site will also continue to receive knowledge learning and support from their training provider and each provider will contact learners on how they propose to conduct this activity.
  • If you, as the host employer are in a position that you may have to lay off your hosted apprentices and graduate placements then please contact your skills account manager for further advice.

Keeping us informed  

I would ask all our Host Employers at this time to update us on the status of your hosted apprentices and graduate placements, namely if their status changes to:

  • Working from home due to self-isolation or host employer requirements
  • Not working due to illness or host employer requirements

Please contact our Employer Services Manager on 01925 515 297 or caroline.roberts@cogentskills.com

Keeping in touch with us 

Our main office remains operational supported by a voluntary skeleton team with the majority of our staff working from home. It would help our teams if customers contacted their usual skills account manager in the first instance by email or mobile phone. Plans are in place should your skills account manager become unavailable alternative contact details are listed on the “out of office” and voice mail. We will continue to provide information on the What’s New section, and through our host employer SharePoint facilities, if you are unsure how to access your SharePoint site contact your skills account manager or if there’s an urgent issue call our employer services manager 01925 515 297.

Finally, I just wanted to take a moment to thank all colleagues and host employers for their incredible efforts during these unprecedented times. I know that it is a worrying situation, but I promise everyone at Cogent Skills Services is focused on providing the best Apprenticeship & Graduate support services to all our customers across the science industry.

Please take care,

Nick Durrington

Managing Director

Cogent Skills Services Ltd