The question is…
How are you getting on with the plethora of information regarding apprenticeships and the new levy being introduced in 2017?
As I write this the apprenticeship levy is only 6 months away – jeepers creepers!
In spring 2017, the way the government funds apprenticeships in England is changing. Some employers will be required to contribute to a new apprenticeship levy, and there will be changes to the funding for apprenticeship training for all employers.
If like me, you feel like you need some head space back and you’re frustrated with constantly routing for that relevant piece of information… saying things like “where did I see that?” and… “I heard that A is now going to be B” … this blog might just help.
I’ve taken a bit of quality time to detox my apprenticeship saturated body and splurged my notes and thoughts into a more structured blog.
I hope you find this apprenticeships blog useful regardless of your apprenticeship IQ. It is slightly focused on Leadership and Management because that is the dizzy world where I spend most of my time.
Organised in an ABC format it is packed full of useful snippets of information and facts but also, where possible, I’ve linked to further information and relevant websites and documents etc.
Feel free to suggest any other facts and links to make this apprenticeships blog better.
Term used to describe someone on an apprenticeship development program. Forget old fashioned views about apprenticeships because 2017 apprentices will be from all walks of life, experience and ages. Apprentices will “earn as they learn” in the new dawn for workplace development.
Apprentices can be recruited but don’t have to be. Many organisations are looking to convert existing employees on to apprenticeship programs. However, there are some basic rules;
The government like to make announcements to keep us all updated on what’s happening, what’s changed and what’s new.
Like their manifestos the information is usually out of date or been discreetly modified before it comes off the printer or the new office interim has pressed “click to send” .
However, click below to see what the main chuntering is at the present time.
Apprentices have to be 16 or over and be in paid full-time employment for the duration of their apprenticeship (full-time is classed as 30+hours per week).
The quality of each apprenticeship is paramount to the government achieving robust apprenticeship delivery and apprentices demonstrating improved competency on completion.
Behind every apprenticeship is a detailed and comprehensive assessment plan that clearly lays out the various QA requirements and how the apprentice will be assessed at the “End Point Assessment”.
An example can be found below. This is for the Level 5 Leadership and Management apprenticeship. Something I am very close to at the moment.
Business Innovation and Skills. (BIS)
This is the government department tasked with looking after the whole apprenticeship piece.
Well… like a lot of other things associated with apprenticeships… it changed in July 2016…
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) merged to form the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
However, it is still home to the Department of Education (DfE).
You can often get the latest announcements there.
Benefits of Apprenticeships
There are many benefits. Find out more here.
The BPP have worked hard to keep everyone up to date with what has been going on over the past few months. I’ve been impressed with their freedom to share information and their regular apprenticeship webinars hosted by James Hammill . I’m not associated in any way with them… but he / they deserve a shout. See BPP here.
The government portal where employers and training providers can express an interest and apply to get on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP)
The new apprenticeship funding system will be made up of 15 funding bands, with the upper limit of those bands ranging from £1,500 to £27,000. Employers are expected to negotiate a price for their apprentice’s training and assessment, in the knowledge that there is a maximum that government is prepared to commit from its funds for the off the job training and assessment for each apprenticeship.
The levy calculator will help you to work out what you will have to pay in levy… or to think of it in another way… what you have to invest in people!
New calculators are being developed on the government website… like this one… it estimates your apprenticeship funding based on apprenticeship type and number of learners.
The term used to describe the arrangement between the government and employer for funding apprenticeships outside of the levy payment. This applies to non-levy paying businesses and also levy paying organisations who want to spend more than their annual levy pot.
It’s a bloody good deal!
The government will ask you to make a 10% contribution to the cost of this training and the government will pay the rest (90%), up to the maximum amount of government funding available for that apprenticeship. This is paid directly to the provider and you will be able to spread it over the life-time of the apprenticeship. As both you and the government make a payment, it is called ‘co-investment’.
Chartered Management Institute (CMI)
Provides support for Management and Leadership apprenticeships through offering qualifications mapped to the apprenticeship standards at levels 3, 5 and 6. This means getting a formalised qualification on completion of the apprenticeship.
I’m a big fan of this approach because the apprentice will not only achieve their apprenticeship but the CMI Qualification learning journey over the course of the apprenticeship will ensure superb quality assurance and plenty of work based evidence (assignments, data and projects etc ) for the apprentice to add to their learning portfolio ready for the End Point Assessment. I also believe that the CMI will be actively involved in EPA.
Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship
Now for the first time ever… apprentices can gain a recognised degree in Leadership and Management and through the CMI they can achieve Chartered Manager status… whilst they hold down a full-time job. Great for new starts but don’t forget the current talent pipeline and the CMDA could also be an incentive to re-engage the more experienced employees with an opportunity to do something they missed out on when they were younger.
Each apprenticeship has been set a maximum funding cap based on typical duration and complexity etc. The government will not pay over this cap.
Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS)
A one-stop internet hub for employers to organise their apprenticeship offering. Functions include the financial aspect (levy and voucher management), selection of apprenticeship program, selecting training providers and end point assessors as well as registering apprentices before they start a program etc.
DAS will open January 2017 (supposedly ;-). Currently the DAS system only applies to England and we wait to see how the other nations plan to support apprenticeships online.
The DAS system is currently being road tested by employers. See here.
I’m not sure what the web address for DAS will be yet but if the government want to use www.digitalapprenticeshipservice.com then give me a shout as I bought that one quite a while back.
The duration / length of apprenticeship programs vary depending on level, complexity and method of delivery… however; the minimum duration for any apprenticeship is 12 months.
An example of the duration for Leadership and Management Apprenticeships will be along the lines of this:
Level 3 – (Supervisor / Junior Manager) = 12 to 18 months
Level 5 – (Ops Management / Senior Manager) = 24 to 32 months
Level 6 – (Multi Level – A Level new start to Exec) = 36 to 48 months
Training providers / employers will be able to develop “fast-track” models of the above for experienced managers with prior learning etc.
Here are some key research resources that may be useful to keep handy in the bookmarks.
Apprenticeship standards ready for delivery (Spreadsheet)
Each apprenticeship has been designed by employers for employers balancing education with on the job expectations and demands.
Employers are encouraged to get involved in the development of trailblazer apprenticeships. If you or your organisation would like to shape the future you can find out more here.
End Point Assessment
The final stage for an apprentice independently assessed before successfully completing their development program. EPA’s vary but generally include things like a review of their learning journey / portfolio, marked work based project, interview and presentation.
20% of the cost of the Apprenticeship will be kept back by the government and taken from the digital account at the end of the apprenticeship / completion of the EPA. This is a reflection of the fact employers will seek quality outcomes from training providers and high success rates. Also, the EPA will incur a charge that will be paid from the levy pot / DAS and EPA providers will be independent of the training provider(s).
An assessment of the effect that the new apprenticeship funding system will have on groups with certain ‘protected characteristics’. Employers and Training Providers must get this right.
The protected characteristics include:
Expiry (Levy Vouchers)
Funds will expire 24 months after they enter your digital account unless you spend them on apprenticeship training with a training provider. Whenever a payment is taken from your digital account, the service automatically uses the funds that entered your account first… so in effect they have a 24 month life.
There are always incentives for employers developing younger apprentices and incentives change frequently but an example from the last government announcement in October 2016 committed to…
100% of training costs paid by government for employers with fewer than 50 employees who take on apprentices aged 16 to 18 years old.
Funding (90% allowance)
If employers don’t have enough money in their levy pot to meet their development aspirations then don’t worry. The government are offering a 90 / 10 split of funding with 90% being paid by the government and only 10% from the employer.
Here’s an example:
The term used to describe the transition phase between an Apprentice being on their development program and their End Point Assessment (EPA). The Gateway ensures that everything is in order before the final EPA is undertaken.
The term used to describe apprenticeships from Level 4 through to 7 (Masters).
If you’d like to know more about what this will mean for you, contact the government employer helpline.
Telephone: 08000 150 600
Or… if you would like to discuss Leadership and Management apprenticeships with an award winning training provider (wink wink) contact Ican Development: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: 0800 97 88 972
Institute for Apprenticeships
Information on this is pretty light at the moment.
Institute of Leadership and Management
The Institute of Leadership and Management have mapped existing qualifications over to the new Leadership and Management Apprenticeships.
Haha… quick plug! And there wasn’t much else I could add to “J”
I’m the owner of Ican Development – a People and Organisation Performance Company and we’re currently helping organisations prepare apprenticeship programs relating to Leadership and Management from Levels 3 to 6… also linked to CMI qualifications if you wish.
If you would like to talk, give me a call on 07508 002288. Visit www.icandevelopment.co.uk
Struggling with “K” to be honest.
The term used to describe the new “business tax” than can be off-set against training apprenticeships. The levy comes in on the 6th April 2017.
Organisations will report and pay their levy to HMRC through the PAYE process.
Level of qualification (Lower)
Apprentices can undertake an apprenticeship qualification at a lower level than they currently possess as long as the apprenticeship program will develop substantive new skills, knowledge and behaviours required for their functional role / future role. This means that someone with a degree in Economics can participate in a Level 5 Leadership and Management apprenticeship if required.
The government is support apprentices with learning difficulties e.g. Dyslexia with financial support to provide additional assistance. Currently set at £150 per month per apprentice for the duration of their program.
The levy will be applied every month from April 2017 for that month’s pay bill. The first voucher credit will be received in May 2017 (for April)
National Apprenticeship Service
This is the best I can do on this… National Apprenticeship Service.
If you do not pay the levy, you won’t need to use the digital apprenticeship service to pay for apprenticeship training and assessment until at least 2018.
When the new funding system begins in May 2017, you can choose the training you’d like your apprentices to receive, an approved training provider and an assessment organisation using the registers available on the digital apprenticeship service.
The government will ask you to make a 10% contribution to the cost of this training and the government will pay the rest (90%), up to the maximum amount of government funding available for that apprenticeship. This is paid directly to the provider and you will be able to spread it over the life time of the apprenticeship. As both you and the government make a payment, we call this ‘co-investment’.
2.3% – the target set by the government for the number of employees on apprenticeships in the public sector. If my math is right that’s about 200,000 people by 2020.
20% – the amount development time expected to be completed by the apprentice “off the job”
.5% – the levy. Removed from companies from April 2017 for all pay bill over £3M
£15,000 – the allowance provided to all companies meaning that only those with a pay bill over £3M pay the levy (.5% of £3m = £15,000).
3,000,000 – the target set by the government on the number of new starts on apprenticeships by 2020.
10% – the levy top-up provided by the government to fund apprenticeships. So for every £1 levy voucher the government credit £1.10 back into the levy account. Meaning employers always get more out than they put in.
90 / 10 funding – how generous! The government aim to provide 90 / 10 funding for non-levy paying businesses and also levy paying companies who want to spend more than their initial levy pot. Therefore, a Level 5 Leadership and Management apprenticeship capped at £9000 will mean and employer / learner contribution of just £900
Numeracy and Literacy
Trailblazer apprenticeships require a minimum level of numeracy and literacy skills (English and Math) before an apprentice can commence on a program. Financial support is provided by the government to help train basic skills and meet the required level. Currently set at £471 per apprentice. This is paid directly by the government and not from the digital levy account.
Trailblazers mainly focus on the English system. However, each devolved nation has their own take on Apprenticeships moving forward. For details on what Northern Ireland plan to do see here.
National Apprenticeship Week
National Apprenticeship Week 2017 is co-ordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service, the week is designed to celebrate the positive impact apprenticeships and traineeships have on individuals, businesses and the economy.
The term used to describe the functional and occupational details behind every trailblazer apprenticeship.
A list of trailblazer occupations and standard’s for apprenticeships currently in development can be found here.
Download the Leadership and Management Standards here:
For those occupational apprenticeship standards that are being developed, there is this document.
The term used to describe the main part of an apprenticeship program where the apprentice will achieve the bulk of their learning through tutorials, work based learning, portfolio development, feedback and support etc.
Regardless of what apprenticeship is being completed, the apprentice must spend at least 20% of their time completing off-the-job training. Now this might sound a lot but as I have said to my clients… it’s amazing how much off-the-job learning is actually on-the job development.
A leadership and management apprenticeship will cover the competency of coaching. An element of this will be taught away from the day job but a large proportion of learning is applied whilst practicing the skills of coaching (and other management techniques) back at work. The apprentice will be learning more about coaching but also participating in powerful results focused conversations with their direct reports as part of their day to day activities.
It’s a win-win. The 20% should be viewed as a valuable investment of quality learning and pragmatic implementation.
Public sector bodies will need to comply with Public Contracts Regulation 2015 when selecting a provider and an assessment organisation from the approved registers.
Employers and apprentices are encouraged to demonstrate progression through the apprenticeship levels. For example in Leadership and Management and apprentice could progress from a Level 3 to Level 5 and onto a Degree as their career develops.
This also creates a powerful talent pipeline to publicise within the business and for recruitment / attraction etc.
Behind a lot of apprentices will be the thoughts and opinions of their parents.
Figures from the Chartered Management Institute say that 78% of parents would prefer their “child” complete a work based degree apprenticeship than go to university and get a stand-alone degree. And if money was no object 62% would still say the same.
Also, parents in work could now do the degree they never got the chance to do first time around with 83% of parents saying they would consider doing a work placed apprenticeship degree.
The overall quality of Apprenticeships will be the responsibility of the new Institute for Apprenticeships from April 2017. However, specific quality assurance checks will be completed by a number of professional bodies including the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), Ofqual and Ofsted.
Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers.
Businesses listed on here can draw funding to deliver Trailblazer Apprenticeships or sub contract to a lead provider. To apply you need to go through BRAVO.
There are various options for training providers and employers about applications that suit needs based on what will be delivered. See the latest SFA Provider Video below – just released!
Register of Apprentice Assessment Organisations
This is a list of organisations that have been assessed as being suitable to conduct independent End-Point Assessment (EPA) of apprentices and be in receipt of public funds. Only organisations on the Register can be selected to undertake the end point assessment.
Employers will use the Register to select an organisation to undertake end-point assessment for them. The lead training provider will contract with the end-point assessment organisation, on behalf of the employer. Employers determine which organisation they will select and the process for selection.
There is a charge for End Point Assessment that needs to be paid from the apprentice levy.
People often talk about the government 2020 vision for apprenticeships but not the Richard Review back in 2012 which is where all this started.
The ‘Richard Review of Apprenticeships’ looked at how apprenticeships in England could meet the needs of the changing economy. The implementation plan set out the government’s approach to changing apprenticeships based on the feedback they received from the Richard Review consultation.
It makes for an interesting read especially as the economy prepares for life beyond Brexit.
All apprentices have to be registered and personally sign up to a trailblazer program through an “Apprenticeship Agreement”
Trailblazers mainly focus on the English system. However, each devolved nation has their own take on Apprenticeships moving forward. For details on what Scotland plan to do see here.
From April 2018, it is proposed that employers can divert 10% of their levy funds to other (supply chain) employers registered on the digital system.
The term used to describe the new apprenticeships that are employer led and designed. They replace the existing framework apprenticeships which are being phased out. Trailblazers are built on a clear set of occupational standards based on Skills, Knowledge and Behaviours (KSB’s).
Every Trailblazer is accompanied by an Assessment Plan which states clearly how the apprenticeships will be assessed.
Any training provider who wishes to draw SFA funds to deliver Apprentice Training needs to be listed on the Resister of Apprenticeship Training Providers (ROATP). Training providers can be private / independent, employers themselves and Higher Education.
The government have recently relaxed the sub-contracting routes so it’s best to watch this SFA video released late Oct 16.
Training Provider (Employer Led)
Some other good news to come out of the recent announcements are the details surrounding employers who want to train their own staff and even offer training services to other employers.
I was personally working on the assumption that this would be the case and have supported clients in developing business plans that would mean they could be self-sufficient in apprenticeship training delivery but also offer to train the employees of other organisations.
If you are an employer wishing to explore this route then just give me a call.
In the meantime, here’s the latest guide for employer led delivery.
So good I’ve mentioned this one twice…
The government will apply a 10% top-up to the funds you have for spending on apprenticeship training in England. They will apply the top-up monthly at the same time the funds enter your digital account.
That means for every £1 that enters your digital account to spend in England on apprenticeship training, you get £1.10
Once the apprenticeship training you’ve bought has started, monthly payments will be automatically taken from your digital account and sent directly to the training provider.
You just need to have enough funds in your account to cover the monthly cost of each apprenticeship you have chosen. You will see funds entering your digital account each month as you pay the levy, and funds leaving the account each month as you pay for training.
You will be able to spread this contribution over the lifetime of the apprenticeship and agree a payment schedule with your training provider.
The government’s 2020 Vision to reach 3 million apprenticeship starts by 2020. To read the two main documents related to the vision see below.
English Apprenticeships 2020 Vision Exec Summary – in oh so lovely glorious technicolour
The government offer the levy back to employers through “vouchers” to fund apprenticeship training. The vouchers can only be spent on recognised apprenticeship training. No off-setting funny business allowed. Vouchers are valid for 24 months from issue.
(Note some elements of the webinar video have been superseded with the October announcement)
(Remember the CMDA can be a conversion of existing employees it’s not just for new starts).
Trailblazers mainly focus on the English system. However, each devolved nation has their own take on Apprenticeships moving forward. For details on what Wales plan to do see here.
Here’s a selection of recent webinars that you might find useful.
The minimum term for an apprenticeship program
My fingers are tired.
That’s exactly how well I’m going to sleep tonight!
The ABC Apprenticeships blog first appeared on www.icandevelopment.co.uk
For the full blog including all links visit
It was written by Jason Stevens.