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Apprenticeship Budget Overspend Update
January 9, 2019

The apprenticeship budget will be “alright” for the rest of the year, the skills minister has said. 

Anne Milton (pictured) was speaking exclusively to FE Week following a parliamentary debate on apprenticeships and skills this afternoon.

She was asked if she had any concerns about the size of the apprenticeships budget, following reports late last year that it was heading for a £500 million overspend in 2018/19.

“I always want more money – the more we’ve got, the more we can do with apprenticeships,” she said in response.

But she had no fears about the budget running out – either right now or for the rest of the year. Read more

CBI Responds to Apprenticeship Levy Reform Announcement
October 26, 2018

Apprenticeship Levy reform is finally on the table, but the job is far from over

Following party conference season and ahead of next week’s Budget it’s important to understand what business are asking for when it comes to reform of the Apprenticeship Levy.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond, announced a series of measures to improve the Apprenticeship Levy at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham. The CBI welcomed the news but cautioned that job of reforming the Levy has only just begun.

Read the Government announcement on Levy reform

The CBI has been campaigning for Apprenticeship Levy reform over the past 18 months, shining a light on businesses’ frustrations with the current design and the need for action to ensure it works in practice.

The government has now publicly acknowledged the need for reform, announcing three key CBI Budget recommendations as policy changes. Firstly, an increase in the amount employers can transfers to other firms; secondly, more resources to the Institute for Apprenticeships to help it to approve training schemes more quickly; and finally, a commitment to seek views on the operation of the Levy post-2020. Read more

Apprenticeships: Parents Pack
October 18, 2018

This Parents’ Pack is full of resources aimed at helping parents understand the benefits of apprenticeships, including translated resources, dates for your diary and 6 ways to keep informed! We encourage schools to disseminate this helpful pack through their parent comms channels.


Education Committee Report 2: Kick Poor-Performing New Providers off RoATP
October 8, 2018

FE WEEK reports that poor-performing apprenticeship providers should be kicked off the government’s register – not just barred from taking on new starts, the education select committee has urged. 

It made the call in its new report, ‘The apprenticeships ladder of opportunity: quality not quantity’, based on the findings of its recent inquiry.

The report outlines a series of recommendations aimed at improving the quality of apprenticeships and making them more accessible to people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“We recommend that new providers judged by Ofsted to be making insufficient progress should be removed from the register of apprenticeship training providers,” it said.

“A provider whose only mark of distinction is a failing grade from Ofsted has no business providing government-funded training.” Read more

Education Committee Report1: Improve Quality of Apprenticeships
October 8, 2018

Quality of training is poor and disadvantaged people are missing out on opportunities, report finds

Apprentices are not getting high-quality training from apprenticeship schemes and many people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, are not getting adequate support to pursue an apprenticeship, according to a new report from the Education Committee

The report, The apprenticeships ladder of opportunity: quality not quantity,  published today (8th Oct 2018), focuses on the challenges of improving apprenticeship quality and promoting social justice.

It found that while many further education (FE) colleges and independent training providers are doing good work in this area, many apprentices are being let down by poor-quality training and support.

The Committee set out a number of recommendations to improve quality and support and clamp down on poor-quality schemes. It recommends Ofsted is given an expanded role in inspecting schemes and for a cap to be placed on the amount of training new providers can offer until they prove the quality of their provision. Read more

ESFA Confirm, Ofsted will Have the Final Say on Poor-Performing Apprenticeship Providers
August 22, 2018

In a move that was predicted by many in the sector, the government has decided that Ofsted will have the decisive say over poor-performing providers. 

They will now be expected to visit every new apprenticeship provider. They will receive £7 million in extra funding to make this possible.

According to the ESFA’s Removal from register of apprenticeship training providers and eligibility to receive public funding to deliver apprenticeship training’‘ updated today, any provider making ‘insufficient progress’ in at least one of the themes under review will be barred from taking on any new apprentices – either directly or through a subcontracting arrangement.

They can continue to work with existing apprentices, but must tell the employers, and any lead providers, about the monitoring visit outcome.

These restrictions will remain in place until the provider has received a full inspection and been awarded at least a grade three for its apprenticeship provision.

The ESFA can only overrule this guidance if it “identifies an exceptional extenuating circumstance”.

Grow Your Business with Apprentices – Latest Campaign
August 14, 2018

For the latest campaign promoting Apprenticeships to employers Click Here.

It includes business case studies, details about the costs associated with training an apprentice and other resources.

Apprenticeships in the West Midlands – A Parents Guide
August 9, 2018

The National Careers Service West Midlands have produced a video guide about apprenticeships for parents.


Ofqual Confirms its Apprenticeship End Point Assessment Approach
July 27, 2018

Ofqual has put in place the final piece of the jigsaw in its approach to its External Quality Assurance (EQA) of apprenticeship End Point Assessments (EPAs), with the publication of a tailored set of rules. The following was published on Gov.uk on 26th July 2018.

These Conditions and guidance, which come into force on 27th July 2018, relate specifically to our regulation of EPAs as a component of an apprenticeship programme. Our end-to-end process is designed to ensure that EPAs are developed effectively and monitored throughout the life of the assessment.

Since taking on its role as an EQA provider, Ofqual has already agreed to provide external quality assurance for 55 standards produced by Trailblazers, with another 37 in the pipeline. We have also aligned our review of Assessment Plans with the Institute for Apprenticeships’ “Faster and Better” programme. We have published details of the status of EPAs where Ofqual has been asked to provide EQA. A total of 42 Ofqual-regulated Awarding Organisations are currently on the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) register of End Point Assessment Organisations (EPAOs).

Our work as an EQA also includes a technical evaluation of a proposed EPAs. We do this to ensure that EPAOs have interpreted assessment plans correctly and consistently so that employers get what they want and expect from the assessments. We have already looked at 19 EPAs and have asked EPAOs to make changes where required. We are also planning to communicate our technical evaluation findings more widely, to inform the Institute, the EQA community and employers. Read more

Asian Apprenticeship Awards Reveal 2018 Judges
July 6, 2018
The organisers of the Asian Apprenticeship Awards have unveiled the 11 judges for this year’s event. All have been invited because of their significant experience in the work-based learning arena, and their passion for the life-changing impact of apprenticeships.

There are four new faces on the judging panel this year. Angela Middleton, Founder and Owner of MiddletonMurray Group. Since she founded the business in 2002, it has grown into one of the largest apprenticeship and training providers in the UK, placing over 10,000 professionals into their first jobs.

She said: “I am excited to be joining the judging team for the Asian Apprenticeship Awards in 2018. It is tremendously important that young people from all communities in the UK are aware of the range of apprenticeships that are available and the high-quality training they provide. I think the Asian Apprenticeship Awards are doing an important job to communicate that. I look forward to reading some inspiring stories and rewarding the hard work of young people and their employers and training providers.”

Read more

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