Apprenticeships are changing, here’s how…

Apprenticeships are changing, here’s how…

Changes to how apprenticeships are funded were covered a couple of months ago in our article on The Apprenticeship Levy. Rather than focus on the changes themselves, this article gives a few ideas how employers can make apprenticeships work to their advantage once the changes come in this April.

If you are familiar with apprentices, have them within your company structure or were in fact an apprentice yourself, you will understand the benefits an apprenticeship programme can bring to business however our suggestions below may give you further ideas. If you haven’t employed and apprentice or had an existing employee retrain on an apprenticeship scheme, isn’t it about time you did?

 Here are some of the key opportunities that the reforms present-


Degree level apprenticeships

YES, you can now have apprenticeships up to Degree level. Trailblazers (groups of ten businesses or more from a specific sector) are frantically getting together to create such apprenticeships, and working with Universities to offer these. In some industries the path to degree level has always been well established for apprentices, but the moment any apprentice moves above Level 3 the company pays for or heavily subsidises the degree costs (or HNC/HND) from their training budget. Under the reforms these can all be classed as apprenticeships and be funded accordingly (see point 5). It’s worth noting however that many Degree Level Apprenticeships are not suitable for 6th Form leavers due to the senior nature of the roles attached.

Upskilling staff

This has always existed but now much easier. You can classify one of your current staff as an apprentice and train them through an apprenticeship programme just as you would for a new recruit. The benefits? A comprehensive method to develop your staff through industry recognised training. As it happens, the author is currently working towards a Level 5 Diploma in Leadership & Management through apprenticeship funding!

Moving up and down the levels

This is really pleasing to lots of companies we speak to. In simple terms an apprentice with higher qualifications in a different sector can study an apprenticeship at a lower level (for example, a potential apprentice with a degree in Sports Science can now apply for an apprenticeship at Level 2 in the Engineering sector). This opens the doors to higher qualified, mature learners as apprentices

New standards

As previously mentioned, Trailblazers are frantically creating new apprenticeship STANDARDS (replacing the existing Frameworks we use). With the benefits mentioned above we are seeing these created in ALL industries. In addition, with employers driving them they are incorporating just what the industry wants. For example, the newly formed management standards are being snapped up quickly as companies train their supervisors, line managers and talents pathways up to degree level with professionally accredited qualifications

Simpler funding

The dark art of apprenticeship funding has gone! You can now see the maximum value you can pay for each apprenticeship programme you can choose. So what is the opportunity? These are maximum values and you, the company, can negotiate this cost down. Be careful though, will less funding mean a lesser service from your provider? As a broker with a wide range of options available, we can ensure you receive maximum value for money.

£1000 for training young people

Every company will receive a £1000 incentive for taking/training an apprentice aged between 16 – 18 years old.

Degrees at a fraction of the cost

The new funding criteria has provided an opportunity for companies to train for a MAXIMUM of only 10% of the apprenticeship value and that is all the way to degree level (so no longer £27,000 for a 3 year degree. Instead, £2,700 for a degree apprenticeship). How this works differs by the size of the company:

  • Small company under 50 employees pay 10% of any apprenticeship costs for apprentices aged 19 or over.
  • Companies with over 50 employees but are under the £3m P.A.Y.E. level pay 10% of any apprenticeship costs regardless of age.
  • Levy paying companies will effectively use their own money (that which has been taken as a levy and then made available in a digital account to access) to pay for the training of apprentices. However, where the company uses ALL of its levy funds it will only pay 10% of any additional apprenticeship costs.

Regardless of your situation, here at The Apprentice Finder we are in a position to guide you through the process and act as your first point of contact regardless of how many colleges and training providers you engage with. to find out more simply call us on 01484 90 70 80 or send an email with your query.

The time has come to embrace apprenticeships across the whole of your business!


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