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ESFA: Cap to Apprenticeship Off-the-Job Calculation
March 28, 2019

The Education and Skills Funding Agency has insisted that an apparent change it made to the off-the-job training policy last week has always existed and does not contradict the funding rules FE WEEK reports.

As reported by FE Week, providers were left baffled after the agency updated its ‘apprenticeship off the-job training policy background and examples’ document which for the first time stated the 20 per cent calculation should be capped based on 30 hours of work per week.

Official funding rules for 2018/19 make no reference to a 30-hour cap in the calculation and providers have been including all “paid hours”.

FE Week sought clarification from the ESFA, which today provided this statement: Read more

ESFA Update: 30 January 2019
January 31, 2019

Latest information and actions from the Education and Skills Funding Agency for academies, schools, colleges, local authorities and further education providers.

ESFA Update: 23 January 2019
January 23, 2019

Latest information and actions from the Education and Skills Funding Agency for academies, schools, colleges, local authorities and further education providers.

Free ERSA Webinar: Neurodiversity in Employment Support – What You Need to Know
July 27, 2018

Thursday 2nd August 2018 | 12 – 1pm. This webinar will discuss some basic information about neurodiversity and what aspects need to be considered when developing contract solutions. It will provide an opportunity for shared discussion.

Neurodiversity-a key consideration for contract development in prisons, with NEETs, and in Youth, Work and Health settings.

In recent times the term Neurodiversity has been used as a term encompassing 1 in 8 individuals in the general population, 1 in 4 in the unemployed and 1 in 3 in the prison population who may have some specific barriers to engaging in learning and gaining employment.

These include conditions such as ADHD; Autism Spectrum Disorder ( Condition), Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia and Developmental language disorders. The term ‘Hidden impairments’ have also been used as an umbrella term as the challenges may not always be obvious to others.

There is also increasing interest in the potential skills and talents that individuals can showcase if appropriately supported and reasonable adjustments made.

Read more

ESFA: How Apprentices in England are Assessed
June 27, 2018

ESFA has published this guide to the process for assessing apprentices doing apprenticeships in England. 


An apprenticeship is a genuine job with an accompanying skills development programme. An apprenticeship can be a standard or a framework. Apprenticeship standards will replace all the old apprenticeship frameworks by 2020.

Through their apprenticeship, apprentices gain the technical knowledge, practical experience and wider skills they need for their job and career. The apprentice gains this through a mix of learning in the workplace, formal off-the-job training and the opportunity to practise new skills in a real work environment.

Assessing the apprentice’s knowledge and experience depends on the type of apprenticeship they’ve completed:


Apprentices doing standards have their skills, knowledge and behaviours evaluated at the end of their apprenticeship by taking an end-point assessment (EPA). This is known as synoptic assessment.

Assessment plans set out the specific criteria for each EPA.


Apprentices doing frameworks have their skills and knowledge continually evaluated by their training provider during their apprenticeship. Individual qualifications might be graded, but the overall apprenticeship is simply ‘achieved’. This is known as formative assessment.

Read more

ERSA Employability Award Winners 2018
June 18, 2018
ERSA is delighted to announce the winners of the 2018 ERSA Employability Awards, sponsored by Clarion Futures. The results were unveiled last night (14 June) at a special evening
ceremony in London attended by the Minister for Employment, Alok Sharma MP, and hosted by ITV’s Lucrezia Millarini. The Minister delivered the keynote address, congratulating the sector on its dedication to transforming people’s lives.

Following the awards, Minister for Employment, Alok Sharma MP, said:

‘I congratulate all the winners of this year’s ERSA Employability Awards for their hard work and dedication towards helping people of all abilities and backgrounds into work. It’s absolutely right that we celebrate these successes and the partnerships they represent which, against the backdrop of record employment levels we’re seeing across the country, is even more fantastic news.’

Read more

ESFA Update: Issue 403 ( 23 May 2018)
May 24, 2018

A weekly round-up of business-critical information to ESFA-funded colleges, other training organisations and direct grant employers.

1. 2018 to 2019 apprenticeships carry-in allocations

We will work out your 2018 to 2019 apprenticeships carry-in allocation using your May (R10) data submission and issue it in July 2018. Please ensure you submit full and timely data at R10 as this will improve the accuracy of the allocation we work out for you.

Your allocation will include funding for apprentices that will not have completed their apprenticeship by 31 July and that started:

  1. before 1 May 2017 (under the old funding system)
  2. with non-levy employers between 1 May and 31 December 2017
  3. with non-levy employers between 1 January and 31 March 2018 (for providers that were offered a 3 month run-down extension)

If you have any queries, please contact your provider manager. Read more

ESFA Expand Audit Team
May 16, 2018

In an effort to oversee the large number of new providers entering the sector, the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) are expanding its audit team.

The newcomers will work under Mark Atkinson, the ESFA’s director of provider market oversight.

It has launched a recruitment drive for a “newly created market oversight unit”, including an advert for four auditor vacancies posted on the civil service jobs website.

The newcomers will not be replacing departing staff, and the recruitment drive is part of wider plans to plough more resources into audit and oversight.

Considerable numbers of untried and untested providers have hit the market recently, for example through the register of apprenticeship training providers. Read more

Work Programme Performance Report March 2018
March 23, 2018

Latest Work Programme statistics show 857,000 people have been supported into work.

ERSA has today released the latest round of job start figures for the Work Programme for the period of June to December 2017.
These show that 856,991 people have now gained some work through the scheme, while the number of young people gaining work has reached 206,522.

The full report can be accessed here

ERSA Employability Awards 2018 Open
February 17, 2018

Today (16th February 2018) marks the official opening of the sixth annual Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) Employability Awards sponsored by Clarion Futures.

Entries are now open to individuals, organisations and businesses that help jobseekers in their journey into or towards employment. The ERSA Employability Awards 2018 celebrate and champion best practice across the employment support sector, and seek to demonstrate the day-to-day hard work and dedication of those working to improve the lives of jobseekers, communities and the wider workforce. ERSA encourage applications from a range of organisations working with disadvantaged jobseekers, including charities, community groups, health services, housing associations, local authorities, training providers and employers.

Read more