From 2017 changes to funding, delivery, assessing competence and the target audience for Apprenticeships came into force. Most of these changes have happened in England; more details on Apprenticeships in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales can be found on separate pages.
WAMITAB has always offered Apprenticeships and as the Training and Advisory board to the sector, support to employers. Our role within the sector hasn’t changed, we still offer these services, but we wanted to offer more. By 2020 Frameworks will be phased out and the Apprenticeships WAMITAB offer will no longer be open to new registrations.
WAMITAB have a dedicated specialist who is available to offer information and advice to employers on Apprenticeships. WAMITAB will support your business to make an informed decision on how you can use Apprenticeships to help your business to flourish by employing new talent and to up-skill existing employees. We’ll answer your questions and help you to navigate this changing landscape.
In addition to offering you business support through our dedicated Training and Assessment Manager, WAMITAB now offer an End-Point Assessment service through WAMITAB Assessment. As the sector leader for skills and development there is no better organisation to assess the competence of your Apprentices.
Apprenticeships in England
There are two different types of apprenticeship schemes: frameworks and standards. The old-style apprenticeship frameworks are gradually being phased out in England to be replaced by Apprenticeship Standards, which are structured in a different way, based on standards developed by employers and key stakeholders. A key difference is the introduction of an end point assessment which has to be undertaken by an independent assessment organisation and will be a big change for learners. One of the key differences between the old frameworks and the new standards is the inclusion of an End Point Assessment (EPA) process, which could take the form of an exam, skills assessment and/or a professional interview. The EPA is individual for each standard and is designed by the Trailblazer Development group working with industry stakeholders to ensure the content and format best reflects what is required by employers in the sector.
However as standards for a number of occupational areas are still in development, some old-style frameworks are still current and available for candidates, which are assessed throughout the learning programme. These include apprenticeships for those working in the waste and resource management sector and in cleaning:
• Level 4 – Sustainable Resource Operations & Management
• Level 2 and Level 3 – Sustainable Resource Management
• Level 2 – Cleaning Services
An apprenticeship standard is only available for delivery when both the standard and the assessment plan have been approved and a funding band (core government contribution) has been assigned to the standard.
A list of all the apprenticeship programmes that are currently available – both frameworks and standards – is available via the gov.uk website.
Apprenticeship Funding in England
The new apprenticeship funding system will be made up of 15 funding bands, with the upper limits of these bands ranging from £1,500 to £27,000 covering apprenticeships from intermediate, which is the first level of apprenticeship through to advanced, higher and degree apprenticeships. All existing apprenticeship frameworks and standards have been placed within one of the 15 funding bands, and new standards will be placed in a funding band as they become ready for use by employers. From May 2017 apprenticeship frameworks and standards are funded in the same way and information on the funding bands is available on the gov.uk website.
Apprenticeship levy funds may be used to pay for the training and assessment for employers paying the levy (up to the upper limit of the funding band). This group of employers is those with an annual pay bill of over £3m, estimated to be around 2% of UK employers. Funding is available for those employers who do not pay the levy; they are required to pay 10% of the cost of training and assessment with the government contributing the remaining 90% (up to the upper limit of the funding band).
Employers and training providers are able to negotiate a price for training and assessment; there is no minimum or set fee associated with apprenticeship delivery. Training and assessment costs above the upper limit of the funding band have to be paid for separately by the employer (levy paying employers cannot use levy funds).
Accessing Training in England
From May 2017 apprenticeships (standards or frameworks) can only be delivered by training providers who are on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP). The approved list of providers is managed by the Educations and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and can be accessed via the gov.uk website. This list is separate to the Register of Training Organisations (RoTO) which providers must apply for to be eligible to compete to deliver funded training opportunities.
Employers with operations in England can access information about apprenticeships via the following website:
Apprenticeships in Northern Ireland
Apprenticeships in Northern Ireland is a work-based programme designed around the needs of employers. It offers recognised training and qualifications to new and existing employees aged 16 and over, across a wide range of apprenticeships.
The apprenticeship offer includes:
- Level 2 frameworks for Apprenticeships
- Level 3 frameworks for Apprenticeships
- Apprenticeships 25+ Frameworks
- Higher Level Apprenticeships Training Suppliers
They have been devised by industry bodies together with the Sector Skills Council and are tailored to ensure they meet the needs of employers. Terms and conditions apply if the apprentice is 25 years and over and framework provision is subject to confirmation.
Funding for Apprenticeships training costs are provided by the Department for the Economy (DfE) and an incentive payment is available for employers whose employees successfully complete the Apprenticeships programme at Level 2 and Level 3. Opportunities are also available through the Higher Level Apprenticeships pilot project for new employees or existing employees in a new job role wishing to gain qualifications from Level 4 to Level 8.
Employers with operations in Northern Ireland can access information about apprenticeships via the following websites:
Apprenticeships in Scotland
In Scotland, Modern Apprenticeships are managed through Skills Development Scotland (SDS), which is Scotland’s national skills body and they also manage the funding for apprenticeships training on behalf of the Scottish Government.
Modern Apprenticeships play a key role in setting people up for success in their careers and are designed to tackle potential skills gaps, and support new or existing employees to develop. With a Modern Apprenticeship offer the opportunity to learn on the job, and get valuable experience and gain a recognised qualification at the same time. There are more than 80 types of Modern Apprenticeship across hundreds of jobs. It is a win-win as individuals get the confidence and qualifications they need to succeed and businesses build the talent, productivity and motivation they need to grow.
The Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board (SAAB) gives employers and industry a leading role in developing apprenticeships in Scotland. Input from employers helps to ensure apprenticeships develop to meet industry and economic need, fair work, and job opportunities.
There are two strands to the Modern Apprenticeship offer:
- Foundation Apprenticeships – bringing education closer to industry and offering school pupils a taste of the world of work and helping employers to shape future talent
- Graduate Level Apprenticeships – taking work-based learning higher, with opportunities to study up to Masters degree level
All UK employers with annual salary bills of more than £3 million now pay an apprenticeship levy.
If you’re an employer in Scotland who already has apprenticeship programmes in your organisation, apprenticeship funding will continue to be administered by Skills Development Scotland through contracted training providers and direct employer contracts.
In addition to apprenticeship support, the Scottish Government’s Flexible Workforce Development Fund is available to all levy paying employers in Scotland across the private, public and third sectors to up-skill and re-skill an existing workforce.
Eligible employers can access the fund, which is administered by the Scottish Funding Council on behalf of Scottish Government, by getting in touch with their local college.
Employers with operations in Scotland can access information about apprenticeships via the following website:
Apprenticeships in Wales
Any business in Wales, whatever size or sector, can recruit an apprentice through the Apprenticeship Programme. Apprenticeships are available to individuals of all ages, so both new starters and existing employees are eligible. The employer covers the apprentice’s wages, whilst the Welsh Government offers support towards the cost of training and assessment.
Apprenticeships in Wales are a way to earn a wage and work alongside experienced staff to gain job-specific skills. Coupled with additional training from a partner training provider, the individual will work towards nationally recognised qualifications.
Wales has developed an apprenticeship programme in partnership with Welsh businesses the programmes with a strong focus on the quality of delivery. There are over 120 apprenticeship frameworks in Wales across a wide range of industries. There are three levels:
- Foundation Apprenticeships
- Higher Apprenticeships
Apprenticeships help individuals gain valuable on the job experience while studying towards a nationally recognised qualification. For employers, it can help them shape the future workforce to suit the needs and culture of the organisation. It can be more cost effective than hiring pre-skilled staff, leading to lower overall training and recruitment cost.
The Welsh Government aims to create at least 100,000 all age apprenticeships over the next five years to ensure peoples’ skills align with what the economy needs.
Employers with operations in Wales can access information about apprenticeships via the following website: