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Apprenticeship funding changes: the key facts

With greater attention being invested in recruitment and retention strategies, the government has continued to develop the apprenticeship funding rules to simplify the process for employers and boost quality with providers.

The new funding rules (August 2022 to July 2023) from the Department for Education (DfE) further focus the reforms.

Greater requirements for recognised prior learning, including checks on English and Maths level and greater reductions to the funding for experience and prior qualifications. During the recruitment and selection process providers are working closely with employers on any additional time required to identify the right competency level and adjust programmes accordingly. Employers can pre-empt this by more proactively mapping relevant roles and career pathways to boost short-term employee engagement and retention, while identifying suitable candidates with more to gain.

The commitment statement is to become a ‘training plan’ with a more detailed ask on the approach for achieving the Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours (KSBs). The aim is to meet the expected time requirement and agree the supportive environment to apply learning within the workplace with the line manager role being more accountable.

The ‘off-the-job’ development time is to be standardised the equivalent of six hours per week for all apprentices. Each learner is to evidence development at least every four weeks with the equivalent hours being calculated. This removes requirements to evidence more developmental hours for working longer shifts or contracted hours, increasing flexibility for employers where the equivalent was closer to eight hours per week previously.

Expectations for tripartite reviews are being tightened. While best practice previously, the training provider, learner and line manager, or workplace mentor, are now expected to meet at least every 12 weeks as a minimum.

Under 19s on apprenticeships remain low at only 20% of overall learners.The DfE plans an extra £1.6 billion investment for 16-19 education and training by 2024/25 (compared to 2021/22 levels). The expected investment is expected to go towards a wide-range of initiatives, including apprenticeships and T-levels.

The DfE’s Unit for Future Skills announced ambitions for a ‘skills taxonomy’ mapping the skill needs within identified geographies to occupational roles for targeting additional funding and careers support. The skills taxonomy will inform further skills investment and the establishment of growth zones across the UK.

Struggling with your levy?

At Talent Solutions, we help you get the right skills in your organisation to support your future success and growth.

We’ve partnered with a select group of training providers to co-design and co-deliver development programmes that support individuals to develop some of the most sought-after skills, including leadership and management, accountancy, coaching, and data analytics.

Our development programmes can be covered by the apprenticeship levy, which all organisations in the UK will already be liable for if their paybill exceeds £3 million.

Are you making the most of your apprenticeship levy to address skills challenges? We’re here to help, speak to our apprenticeship expert David Hare .