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Thousands of SMEs Denied Chance to Recruit Apprentices
January 16, 2020
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The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) has found training providers are having to turn away smaller businesses seeking to recruit apprentices.

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A growing shortage of funding from the £2.8 billion apprenticeship levy has been attributed to the shortfall in support for SMEs. The AELP found that, on average, apprenticeship providers are turning down approaches from 40 SMEs each.

The research also revealed that 29% of providers with a government contract to train apprentices for SMEs have reduced recruitment. According to the AELP 39% of these providers have stopped or significantly reduced recruitment. 

AELP chief executive Mark Dawe told HR magazine: “What’s doubly frustrating about the restriction on the number of new apprenticeship opportunities available is that the government has just issued official data showing that nine out of 10 apprentices stay in sustained employment and many of them who progress end up earning very good wages. 

“As Downing Street and the chancellor have issued a mandate to ministers to concentrate spending money on what actually works, what further evidence does the government need to invest more in apprenticeships? 

“The fact that the levy is running short of funding shows how popular apprenticeships are and that the levy should be kept. But it’s totally unacceptable for both small businesses and young people that so many of them can’t start apprenticeships because of failures in how the levy funding system works, and this is why it needs reform.” 

One suggestion for reform is a restoration of the £1.5 billion apprenticeship budget that was available to SMEs before the levy was introduced in April 2017. The AELP has also proposed an increase in the levy. 

Dawe added: “Brexit requires us to meet employers’ skills needs by training more home-grown talent, but many training providers have given up ‘selling’ apprenticeships to SMEs when the lack of funding means that there’s no point in doing so. In the meantime there’s a big government advertising campaign telling employers that support is still available. 

“The prime minister promised in July that he would ‘properly fund’ apprenticeships and the education secretary has said that the programme’s funding would be a matter for the Spending Review. As the clock ticks thousands of young people are hearing about the success stories of their peers who have been on an apprenticeship and they can’t understand why the same opportunities aren’t available for them.”

Free Webinar: The New Funding Rules and What it Means for Apprenticeship Providers (19 Sept)
September 13, 2019
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The final 2019-20 funding rules are now live – but what do they mean for apprenticeship providers?

What compliance issues are cropping up, and how can you make sure you are not over-claiming or under-claiming funding? (It’s more common than you think!)

SDN

Led by SDN’s compliance specialist, and based on our work with providers across the country, this free webinar will take you through:

  • The 2019-20 funding rules – what’s new and what’s changed?
  • What the new funding rules mean for apprenticeship compliance
  • Issues arising for apprenticeship providers
  • Ways to avoid over-claiming and under-claiming funding

The webinar will be hosted on Thurs 19th Sept at 12.30-1.30pm.

REGISTER YOUR PLACE HERE

Who is this webinar for?

The webinar will be useful for those involved in apprenticeship compliance, curriculum development and pricing in both FE and HE – including managers, quality and curriculum teams, compliance and MIS teams and business development staff.

Facilitators and speakers

The webinar will be facilitated by David Lockhart-Hawkins. David is SDN’s specialist in compliance, systems and processes – he’s been at the forefront of the apprenticeship reform compliance strategies and has helped providers across the country to prepare to deliver standards.

Why an SDN webinar?

SDN has supported 5,000 apprenticeship staff, from over 1,000 organisations, to prepare to deliver apprenticeship standards and end-point assessment. We’ve also worked closely with over 80 of the trailblazer employer groups, giving us a unique insight into what is required.

REGISTER YOUR PLACE HERE

ESFA Survey on Apprenticeship Funding

The ESFA has released a survey as part of continuing work to look at how they could improve the apprenticeship funding rules.

They would like to hear from employers, employer-providers and training providers.

The survey closes on 14 March 2019.

Access the survey HERE