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Apprenticeship Updates – 25th October 2016

The long awaited updates from the government on the introduction of the levy, confirmation of funding bands, changes to the proposals for subcontracting and the opening of the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers RoATP have been released.

Below are links to several documents you can read for all the latest information.

Important changes to note, following the government’s consultation period and lobbying by several organisations are as follows –

The levy and new funding rules

The new simplified system of funding apprenticeships will commence 1st May 2017, however, eligible employers (those whose payroll is over £3 million per annum) will begin paying the levy from 6th April 2017. This means that funds should appear in digital accounts in May 2017 and first payments to training providers - whether from digital accounts or from government (Skills Funding Agency), for non-levy paying employers (who report an apprentice commencing after 1st May), will be made in June 2017.

Levy payers – digital accounts

Employers who qualify to pay the levy will now have 2 years to spend their levy money and government top up in their digital accounts instead of the 18 months as previously proposed.

Payments for 16-18 apprentices

This change is only for frameworks not for standards.

The government have now announced that they will pay an additional 20% of the upper band limit to training providers to support 16-18 apprentices starting framework apprenticeships, from May 2017. The additional uplift payment will also apply to 19-24 year olds who were formerly in care or who have an Education and Health Care plan. These payments will come direct from the government and will not be deducted from an employer’s digital account. The payment is made to the training provider and is a transitional payment which is expected to decrease over the following years as apprenticeships move from the current frameworks to the new standards.

For example if a 16-18 year old starts an apprenticeship framework at Band 2, the upper band limit is £2,000, so the training provider will receive an additional £400 from government. (This payment is in addition to the £2,000, split between the employer and training provider, already announced.)

Additional payments for apprentices from deprived areas

This change is only for frameworks not for standards.

In order that providers are not disadvantaged financially under the new system, for learners from deprived areas currently receiving disadvantage uplift payments, the government has agreed that providers will receive an additional £600 for training an apprentice (on a framework), who lives in the top 10% of deprived areas (as per the Index of Multiple Deprivation), £300 for any apprentice who lives in the next 10% of deprived areas (the 10-20% range), and £200 for those in the next 7% (the 20-27% range). Overall the government will make available at least the same amount on disadvantage payments as under the current system of more complex uplifts. This will initially be for one year whilst the government review the best ways of ensuring apprenticeships provide equal opportunity to all, regardless of their circumstances.

Links* are -

  • Apprenticeship funding in England from May 2017 App Fund 1
  • Apprenticeship frameworks: funding bands from May 2017 Download Framework (Do follow the instructions!)
  • Apprenticeship standards: funding bands from May 2017 Download Standards
  • Apprenticeship funding: how it will work App Fund 2
  • Apprenticeship funding: rules and guidance for levy‐paying employers App Fund 3
  • Apprenticeship funding: draft rules for employer‐providers App Fund 4
  • Apprenticeship funding: draft rules for training providers App Fund 5
  • Draft apprenticeship performance management rules 2017 to 2018 App Fund 6

Subcontracting and the new provider register - RoATP

Following lobbying and consultation the government has amended the proposed rules for subcontracting and for the new provider register. From May 2017 –

  • A lead provider may subcontract up to a maximum of £100,000 with a small provider without the small provider being on the new RoATP register.
  • Lead providers may subcontract delivery up to £500,000 to providers delivering on a support or specialist route who are on the RoATP register.
  • Restrictions on how much of an apprenticeship a subcontractor can deliver have been revised.

The new provider register – RoATP is now open for applications. Applications to the register must be received by 5.00 pm on 25th November 2016. (The portal will be open four times each year for applications.) Successful applicants will remain on the register for one year and will then need to reapply by updating their information.

The following documents provide full information -

  • Supporting quality and employer choice through a new register of apprenticeship training providers Support
  • Joining the register of apprenticeship training providers – application instructions Join
  • Financial health self-assessment toolkit Download Tool Kit
  • E-tendering portal guidance Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers E-Tender

Procurement of funding for delivery to non-levied employers

The ITT for non-levied delivery of apprenticeships opened on 25th October 2016 and closes on 25th November 2016.

The minimum funding available under this procurement is £440,000,000 - £213,000,000 for 16-18 years and £227,000,000 for 19+ years.

The minimum contract award is for £100,000 and the maximum £5,000,000. The maximum is not expected to include carry over funding.

Awarded contracts would be for the 15 months delivery period 1st May 2017 to 31st July 2018.

Notification of tender results is timetabled for 14th March 2017 and contracts are to be issued from 31st March 2017 ready for the commencement of delivery on 1st May 2017.

The following links provide further information -

Sue Yates 25th October 2016

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