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The National Audit Office Report on the Apprenticeship Programme
March 7, 2019
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Background to the report

The Department for Education is accountable for the apprenticeships programme, including securing value for money.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency is responsible for apprenticeships policy and funding, and for overseeing the delivery of apprenticeships. The apprenticeships programme is intended to help address two important problems: poor productivity in the United Kingdom compared with many international competitors; and a significant fall in employers’ investment in training over recent decades.

The programme aims to allow people in England to develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for their occupation. An apprenticeship is a job that combines work with training. Apprentices can be new or existing employees. Apprenticeships are open to people over the age of 16, and are available at a range of levels, from GCSE-equivalent (level 2) to degree-equivalent (levels 6 and 7). An apprenticeship must last for at least 12 months, and the apprentice must spend at least 20% of their paid hours doing off-the-job training. This training may be delivered by an authorised provider, the employer or a combination of the two. Government contributes to the cost of apprenticeship training and assessment. Read more

Damien Hinds Insists Apprenticeship Reform is Working
March 5, 2019
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Education secretary Damian Hinds has insisted the UK’s workplace training is “coming of age” with the apprenticeship levy, and defended restrictions in the new system that many businesses complain about.

Mr Hinds, speaking ahead of National Apprenticeship Week, which started on Monday, accepted companies had “frustrations” with the system.

But he said increasing numbers of employees had been taking up high quality apprenticeships since large companies and public sector organisations were required by the government in 2017 to contribute the equivalent of 0.5 per cent of their total wage bill to fund workplace training.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Hinds also said the UK’s looming departure from the EU made the task of reinvigorating skills-based training more urgent.

“Brexit should be a skills moment,” added Mr Hinds, who campaigned for Remain in the 2016 Brexit referendum. “It should be about development of the workforce, about improving our productivity and education.”

The CBI, the employers’ organisation, said in January the government’s reform of workplace training had proved frustrating for many companies because of the system’s inflexibility, noting there was a shortage of appropriate courses on which to spend money raised by the apprenticeship levy. Read more

Sector Response to Apprenticeships and Levy statistics: February 2019
March 4, 2019
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28 February 2019 DfE published their Apprenticeships and levy statistics: February 2019

  • There has been 192,100 apprenticeship starts on the frameworks and new standards reported to date between August 2018 and December 2018 for the 2018/19 academic year, a 9.7 per cent increase compared to the equivalent period in 2017/18 (175,100).
  • At 31 January 2019, there have been a total of 16,400 accounts registered on the apprenticeship service.
  • We have seen 122,700 commitments recorded in the apprenticeship service for the 2018/19 academic year, compared to 98,000 recorded at the equivalent point last year for 2017/18. [A commitment is where a potential apprentice, who is expected to go on to start an apprenticeship, has been recorded on the Apprenticeship Service].

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton said:

“I’m thrilled to see the number of people starting apprenticeships has gone up by 9.7% on this time last year. This is good news and really highlights how employers up and down the country are realising the huge benefits apprenticeships are bringing to their business

“Apprenticeships offer people of all ages and backgrounds a high quality route to skilled employment with the option to train at every level. You get paid while you train and can start a great career in a huge range of professions like accountancy, nursing, teaching and law.

“I want as many people as possible to know about the amazing apprenticeship opportunities out there. Our new campaign ‘Fire it Up’ is playing a vital role in this, helping to challenge outdated perceptions and raising awareness of the huge variety of options available”.

Mark Dawe, Chief Executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) comments on the numbers

 ‘The funding issues have now made the availability of intermediate level apprenticeships for young people in SMEs across the country the biggest problem we face.  The answer is to make level 2 apprenticeships fully state funded whether the money comes from the levy or not.’

The AELP highlighted Intermediate level starts are at 5,800, down 23% from 2017 and 56% from 2016.  So less than half pre-Apprenticeship Levy.

Apprenticeship Opportunities in the Civil Service
February 25, 2019
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Civil Service CareersCivil Service Careers

 

 

 

 

Apprenticeship Fire It Up Toolkit
February 5, 2019
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The government has launched its new ‘Fire it Up’ campaign to showcase the diverse range of opportunities available to apprentices. https://gallery.mailchimp.com/ebd004a8047907dc47d269fd1/images/d3c464a1-8852-4953-b631-90dd6f8ec68f.jpg

The new campaign aims to inspire and engage employers as well as individuals and education providers in apprenticeships.

To support employers with promoting the campaign, DfE has created a communication toolkit which gives information and guidance on how to promote apprenticeships through your social media channels.

For more information on the Fire it up campaign visit:www.apprenticeships.gov.uk/

Dstl’s Latest Apprenticeship Opportunities Are Now Open
February 4, 2019
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The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory has a number of new apprenticeship vacancies – see their post on gov.uk below.

At Dstl, we are committed to developing our people, and to investing in the next generation of talent.Apprentices at Dstl

We offer apprenticeships in a variety of roles which enable people to gain experience and an insight into some truly unique work that helps protect the nation. Our apprenticeship programmes range from advanced through to degree level. If you are thinking about your next step in education, or a change of direction in your career, then Dstl could be the place for you.

Choosing an apprenticeship programme gives you a breadth of experience and a qualification and you will earn a salary at the same time.

With a mix of classroom and on-the-job -based learning, our programmes offer you the chance to work on cutting-edge real projects, making a real difference to the defence and security of the UK.

We’re keen to develop even more talent. If you’re passionate about science and technology, eager to help protect the UK and keen to learn, you’ll thrive on one of the following apprenticeships: Read more

Apprenticeship Budget Overspend Update
January 9, 2019
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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
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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
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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.

Parent-Pack-October-2018

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

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