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A New Apprenticeship For A New Era

A New Apprenticeship For A New Era

(Posted on 05/10/16)

The way the government funds apprenticeships is changing. Under the current terms, colleges receive the full allowance and manage the allocation of funds. From April 2017 colleges will no longer receive these funds; instead employers will be able to access an apprenticeship allowance directly from the government in the form of digital vouchers.

Apprenticeships offer employers an effective way to develop in-house skills and increase productivity. The government has set an ambitious target that aims to see three million apprentices in situ by 2020. To achieve this goal, a number of changes are taking place.

The Apprenticeship Levy will be coming into force in April 2017, which will mostly impact companies operating with a wage bill in excess of £3m. The government has yet to confirm the complete terms of the levy arrangement but the objective is to increase training opportunities for small and medium sized businesses across the UK. As part of the changes to give businesses more control over the delivery of suitable training schemes, the existing Apprenticeship Frameworks are being phased out to be replaced by the Apprenticeship Trailblazer Standards, which have been developed by employers for employers.

Apprenticeship Frameworks, otherwise referred to ass SASE frameworks, are vocational and professional qualifications delivered alongside continuous assessment. In 2012, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills reviewed these frameworks and deemed them unfit for the current needs of UK industry. Based on these findings, the government selected employer groups to design a new apprenticeship model and determine how the funding is spent.

These employer groups, known as Trailblazers, developed standards to cover specific job roles and set out the core skillsknowledge and behaviours an apprentice would require to be fully competent in their job role. A significant change has been made to the way apprenticeships are assessed. End-point assessment is being introduced as the main assessment method to optimise training delivery and minimise operational disruption. It also enables the apprentice to gain as much experience as possible before being assessed.

Frameworks will be phased out by 2020, as the government moves to the employer-led standards. Employers will also benefit from a number of other changes to be introduced in April 2017. It is believed that the upper age limit will be removed for all apprenticeships allowing existing staff of all ages to participate, whilst employers will be able to choose from a new national Register of Apprenticeship Training Organisations (RoATO) for the first time ever.

These changes aim to encourage employers to develop in-house skills as and when required. Upskilling not only enhances capabilities but boosts morale and staff retention. Creating a strong pool of in-house talent creates a sustainable working environment that promotes growth and prosperity.

If you are interested to know more about the new apprenticeship standards and would like to understand how the levy could affect your business, please contact us by calling 01978 806 285 or emailing We offer free funding advice and a fully managed post-levy service that actively helps organisations to optimise the benefits of staff training and development.

Get in touch with us today to find out more
call 01978 806 285 or email