30th May 2022

Increased simplification of the apprenticeship system

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As an award-winning apprenticeship system training provider, we are proud to have played our part in the evolution of apprenticeships into high-quality skills programmes for learners and employers.

We believe that apprenticeships work for employers, and according to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) employers have created more than 640 standards to meet their skills needs, training is delivered by registered providers which are regularly inspected, and apprentices complete rigorous end-point assessment, so employers know that they are fully competent in their role.

So it is against this backdrop that the government has recently published plans to make the apprenticeship system simpler for employers, training providers and apprentices from August 2022.

The proposed changes

Placing a greater emphasis on prior learning and experience.
By improving how providers take account of this at the start of their apprenticeship – and funding them to do a robust upfront assessment – apprentices will be able to cut out training they do not require and complete their apprenticeship more quickly. This means that they can spend more time in the workplace and will become fully competent sooner, boosting employer productivity and their own earnings potential.

Changing the off-the-job hours
Currently an apprentice must train for a minimum of 20% of their own working hours; this means that an apprentice who works longer hours is potentially impacted by this link. From 1 August, the minimum number of hours will no longer be linked to working hours; instead there will be a set figure of six hours per week irrespective of the hours worked by the apprentice. The six hours per week is for calculation purposes only; once calculated the programme can still be delivered flexibly. This change must not dilute the existing requirement – to provide the right level of training to every apprentice. The volume of training that is delivered must be guided by the initial assessment of the apprentice and this may mean that an apprentice trains for more than 6 hours per week.

Making improvements to the payment service for providers and employers
Reducing the data needed to make payments and improving Apprenticeship Service financial reports should help providers understand what they are being paid for each apprenticeship and why. The ESFA also plans to do more to ensure that all employers promptly receive their £1,000 additional support payment if they take on an eligible young apprentice.

It is good to see that the ESFA continues to try to improve the apprenticeship system process. 

Mark Bremner, MBKB’s CEO said

“At MBKB we welcome these new changes which will further allow our flexible apprenticeships to be tailored and responsive to the individual needs of the apprentice and employer. For further updates and free advice on this please email train@mbkbgroup.com. Let’s build your future together”

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