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ESFA Calls for Help to Develop the Apprenticeship Service
June 17, 2019
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ESFA has opened an Expressions of Interest (EOI) for small and medium sized apprenticeship employers and supporting training providers to help develop the apprenticeship service

The Education and Skills funding Agency (ESFA) has opened an Expressions of Interest (EOI) for small and medium sized employers and supporting training providers that currently have a non-levy contract to help the ESFA in its initial phase, to test the system functionality of the apprenticeship service for employers who do not pay the Levy.

Small and medium sized employers that do not pay the Apprenticeship Levy, as well as their supporting training providers, can now express their interest to help ESFA shape its services so it meets future needs for all employers. To apply to test the service: Read more

Anne Milton Addresses Association of Colleges Spring Conference
May 29, 2019
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Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton speech at the Association of Colleges spring conference 23 May 2019 (Original scriptThe Rt Hon Anne Milton MP, may differ from delivered version)

I was appointed to this job on 12th June 2017 – so almost but not quite 2 years ago. For a minister these days it’s quite a long time – although the longest serving skills minister was Baroness Blackstone who was Minister for both FE and HE for 4 years (1997-2001).

To be honest before that I knew very little about FE, nothing about what an apprenticeship involved, what all the different qualifications were – it was only O Levels, CSEs and A Levels in my day – or what really went on in Colleges.

That lack of awareness of what FE does won’t be restricted to me. Many people, including some MPs, are unaware of the huge amount of activity that goes on in college campuses around the country, and do not understand the full range of learning opportunities that are available. 2 years – a brief period compared to how long many of you in this room have been involved in the FE sector. But in that time, it has been an enormous privilege to learn so much about the reach and impact of FE. A sector that changes people’s lives. A sector that never gives up on anyone. And a sector with multiple strands of business, that has never had the attention it deserved and does – so much – for so many.

Read more

Apprenticeships: New May Parents’ Pack
May 20, 2019
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The new May Parents Pack is here and includes typical interview questions, creative apprenticeships, apprentice and employer views on work experience, conversations about mental health, results day helpline and much more! 

Apprenticeship Reform: The Latest Apprenticeship Funding Rules
May 13, 2019
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Information about funding for training and assessing apprentices in England from the Education, Skills & Funding Agency.

The latest rules (2018 to 2019) Read more

Apprenticeships: April Parents’ Pack
April 26, 2019
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The new April Parents Pack is here and includes a step-by-step guide on how to use Vacancy Snapshot, tips for applying to legal apprenticeships, online support with applying for an apprenticeship, essentials for starting your new apprenticeship, meaningful career roles and much more. Read more

UCAS: Apprentices’ Rights and Responsibilities
April 9, 2019
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The following is an extract from the UCAS Website

 

Apprentices have the same rights as other employees.

You are entitled to a contract of employment, and a minimum of 20 days paid leave each year, plus bank holidays. You will work at least 30 hours per week with your employer, and undertake part-time study through a mixture of day/block release, distance, and e-learning.

Your employer and university, college, or training provider will set out details of what they will provide and what they expect from you as an apprentice, both as an employee and as a student, in two key documents.

Read more

10 Key Facts the DfE Want Us To Know About The Apprenticeship #Levy
April 8, 2019
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The following was published by the Department for Education on 5th April 2019

The apprenticeship levy is celebrating its two year anniversary. Here’s what you should know.

Two years ago, we introduced the apprenticeship levy to create long term sustainable funding for apprenticeships and to give employers more control to provide their staff with a range of training opportunities.

The levy means there is more money available than ever before for apprenticeship training and allows employers to choose which apprenticeships they offer, how many and when. By 2019-20 the funding available for investment in apprenticeships in England will have risen to over £2.5 billion, double what was spent in 2010-11 in cash terms. Read more

HMRC Investigations into Apprenticeship Levy More Than Double in a Year
March 26, 2019
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The number of investigations launched by HMRC into the underpayment of the Apprenticeship Levy has more than doubled in a year to 84, up from 33 in 2017/18, says UHY Hacker Young, the national accountancy group.

HMRC collected an extra £6.2m through these investigations last year, up from £5.2m in 2017/18.

UHY Hacker Young says a growing number of businesses are finding the Apprenticeship Levy complex and difficult to comply with. This is leading to businesses underpaying which potentially leaves them exposed to substantial fines.

The Institute of Directors has suggested that a lack of clear information on how to pay the Apprenticeship Levy and its rushed implementation in April 2017 may have created confusion amongst businesses. Read more

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