New Year – New Apprenticeship reforms

Webinar –  18th January 2016.

I have listened to many of Nick Linford’s webinars. He speaks on behalf of Lsect.   Often they are in response to funding changes with Apprenticeships or first reactions to white papers etc.

Below are the key points which I think are important from the New Year, New Apprenticeship webinar.   The full set of slides is here   (Link added to this page after permission gained from Nick Linford).


Points Discussed                                      Possible impact
Apprenticeship LevyTo be paid by large employers by April 2017.

This represents 2% of employers in the UK.   For a company the size of Tesco this may represent in the region of £50 million contribution.

Still uncertain how the smaller (98%) of employers will pay for their Apprentices.


Large employers paying into the pot will be keen to use their allocated money so will be likely to become pro-Apprenticeships (if not already)

May have an impact of organisations targeting programmes at large employers. This seems to at odds with the work over the last few years to provide incentives for small employers to hire Apprentices.



Public sector targets

If an organisation has 250 plus employees there will be a target of 2.5% of employees to be Apprenticeships.


NHS is already committed to more Apprenticeships than the 2.5% target (aiming for 6%)


The size of public sector organisation in terms of funding terms is always subjective. In terms of funding requirements currently, schools are not seen as part of the Local Authority, even though staff are employed by the local authority.   Some organisations my use technicalities to ‘opt out’ of being a large organisation.



Quality inspections


Levels 2 and 3 will continue to be inspected by Ofsted


Higher levels will be monitored by the HE quality regime.



Will this lead to providers segregating the different levels?

Functional skills requirements


Level 2 Apprenticeships remaining requirement to achieve level 1 Functional skills, with working towards level 2.


Level’s 3 and 4 Apprenticeships must achieve level 2 functional skills before the end point assessment.


New functional skills qualifications due to be published in 2018.






Level 4 requirement has changed as currently not included in the framework.   This I imagine has the potential to change.   Functional skills were included in Apprenticeships at Higher levels up to July 2013. They were then removed from the frameworks (with the understanding that candidates could demonstrate competence at level 2 before enrolment).



New standards/Old frameworks

 There are 71 new standards ready to deliver.   Government would still like to switch off the old frameworks but a date for this hasn’t been confirmed.





At first glance of the list it appears that the generic skills of business admin, customer service and   management have been segregated to different professions.   E.g. a financial customer advisor, financial administrator.


There seems to be a lot of higher level Apps in the list.   On the current frameworks there are good progression routes. E.g. in Leadership and management there is a level 2,3,4 and 5 Apprenticeships. The new standard is a level 6 degree Apprenticeship with a four year duration.   This may be off putting for some candidates but the chartered Management status will appeal to others.



Institute of Apprentices


Small board, fully operational by April 2017. Will be maintaining the standards.


Digital Apprenticeship Service


Will help employers find providers aiming to be fully operational by October 2016. (pilot starting in April 2016).   This will be seen as a business critical system.








All organisations delivering Apprentices need to engage with this.




Any grade provider can now provide these.   If an organisation doesn’t use its allocation it will be reallocated by the SFA.


National Apprenticeship Service


Employer support function, may return to a broker relationship. Providers should let NAS know if they are interested in working with large employers.

Success measures


Piloting destinations to be added to the success criteria.   Increase minimum threshold from 60% to 65% success rates.



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