I've been working as a graphic design apprentice for the past 10 months. Part of the requirement for me to pass is to take 20% off the job training. My line-manager initially asked me if I could work for a bit then they would give me the 20% off that I need. The gist of it is that after repeatedly asking for it they have flat out told me they won't be giving it to me that I have to do it at work in my free-time, this wouldn't be a problem but my line-manager has been overloading me with work so I never have free time to do it. I end up having to do my mandatory weekly apprenticeship tasks (for my apprenticeship provider) at home during my own time. I've been complaining to my learning coach (from the apprenticeship provider) and he has said he would speak to my manager. My manager is generally been pretty aggressive and has been bullying me (at least what I think is bullying), getting angry and telling me off in-front of colleagues if I'm not doing something exactly how she wants it done.

But recently I have taken a heavier stance on the fact that I need the 20% off to do my training and my manager has started getting more aggressive to me telling I am not reliable. After a weekly one to one just yesterday I asked whats happening with my 20% off for training and was told they won't be giving it to me and that I have to do it at work (but still overload me so I don't have time) and said that the only reason I am still working there is because she is protecting me and that everyone on our team thinks thats I "dont contribute enough" & "dont care about the company".

What are my options, I am not enjoying myself and I believe my manager has a history of this as 2 other people that used to be on our team have quit in very short time spans. I'm pretty sure they are breaking the law and my managers behaviour has started affecting me mentally and physically with her downright abusive behaviour.

My biggest concern is the fact that they are potentially breaking the law by not giving me 20% off the job training. While I will be looking for a new job there is the fact that they are (probably) breaking the law and I feel I can't just let them just get away without repercussions. Here is a short article on the 20% off the job training: https://www.onefile.co.uk/explore/education/20-off-the-job-training/index.html

I've condensed this post as much as I can, if you would like more information about my situation you can read it here: https://pastebin.com/amHKbacr

  • 3
    Hi Shixma, this is a really long post that is going to discourage a lot of people from reading your question. Could you edit it down to the most important points of your question? Make sure that you have a clear addressable goal and aren't just venting about how bad your situation is.
    – David K
    Commented Mar 8, 2019 at 20:40
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    I've condensed it about as much as I think I can, is this better?
    – Shixma
    Commented Mar 8, 2019 at 20:57
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    I clearly stated it at the end. I need to know my options about this and what I need to do as Im sure what she is doing is illegal. I've pretty much given up on them and don't think there is any way to remedy the situation with how far its gotten.
    – Shixma
    Commented Mar 8, 2019 at 21:03
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    If you've given up on them and don't think it can be remedied, then the only answer is to start looking for a new job.
    – David K
    Commented Mar 8, 2019 at 21:05
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    If the company has legal obligations to apprentices, there's almost certainly some sort of government department in charge of those legal obligations. Would anyone know which one that was, and how to get in touch with them?
    – Ben Barden
    Commented Mar 8, 2019 at 21:18

1 Answer 1


Since this is taking its toll on your health, my recommendation is get a same day appointment with your GP and request a formal letter summarising your appointment. If they refer you to a counseling, you can get a letter for your employer confirming that you are taking the leave for your appointment for health reasons.

After that, gather a portfolio of your work and show your mentor and your boss the work you've been doing. If you're still on JIRA, screenshot the assignments compared to hers. If possible, request to be moved to another team win the company and state that your manager is refusing to give the time for you to study, persistently. If you can prove she is sabotaging you, then she'll have a lot to answer to.

  • Thanks for taking the time to read my post Sam, I think this will really help but I'm also stuck on them potentially breaking the law to do with apprenticeships. Here's an article on my biggest concern , the 20% off the job training onefile.co.uk/explore/education/20-off-the-job-training/…
    – Shixma
    Commented Mar 8, 2019 at 21:11
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    No problem. In regards to your 20% time, I would write what you've put down here in an email to HR. They exist to protect the company from people like her. I also forgot to mention that your GP can give you sick leave for work induced stress. Both my other half and I were given two weeks leave for that.
    – Sam Lee
    Commented Mar 9, 2019 at 7:17

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