The Government is carrying out a series of reforms to the apprenticeship system with the intention of making sure that apprenticeships deliver the skills that employers want and the work opportunities that people need. While employer and apprentice satisfaction rates with the existing system are very high the number of employers actually involved in the Government's apprenticeship programme was running at about 15%. The Government's response, based on a 2012 Review, was to give employers more control and a greater financial stake ('co-investment') in the system. This has led to the following reforms:
- The rewriting by employers of all current apprenticeship 'frameworks' to new apprenticeship 'standards' updating the content of all apprenticeships, introducing grading and end point assessments.
- The Government's ambition is to achieve 3 million apprenticeship starts in the life of the current parliament. In order to help fund this and inspire participation a new Apprenticeship Levy will be introduced from April 2017. This requires all employers to pay the Government 0.5% of their annual payroll after an allowance of £15,000 has been applied - so in effect it applies to employers with a payroll cost of more than £3 million a year.
- For the 98% of all employers who are not paying the levy a new funding system that will require co-investment will be introduced except for companies with less than 50 employees recruiting apprentices aged 16-18.
- All public sector organisations will be required to make sure that 2.3% of their workforce are apprentices at any one time.
- A new organisation, the Institute for Apprenticeships will oversee the new system which will still be funded via the Education & Skills Funding Agency.
- A new Digital Apprenticeship Service will be introduced which will see funding being routed via employers and will support employers in their involvement with the apprenticeship system.
Please contact the training providers listed on this site for further information or discussion about the reforms and the future impact that they might have. You can also find more information and search for training providers using the government's Find An Apprenticeship website.