Latest development for the Apprenticeship Levy
- Date: 02 July, 2018
This round-up of the latest apprenticeship-related news includes details of a new arrangement for the certification of IT apprenticeships and an important development as far as levy funds are concerned.
With the Tech Partnership due to close in September, there’s obviously been much work going on behind the scenes to ensure a continuation path for its activities, particularly in the key area of apprenticeship certification.
It’s now been confirmed that Instructus will be taking over this work, assuming responsibility for all IT and digital certification activities from the 1st of July.
This responsibility encompasses the Tech Partnership’s English frameworks, Welsh frameworks and Scottish Modern Apprenticeships. However, the certification of new English standards will remain the responsibility of the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).
Instructus will also be taking over responsibility, working through the Federation for Industry Sector Skills & Standards (FISSS), as the issuing authority for the IT & digital frameworks. Importantly, the company will be working with the Tech Partnership and the FISS to ensure that the Issuing Authority status for all apprenticeship frameworks are updated.
On a related note, it’s also been revealed that the Tech Partnership’s work in schools will be taken over by a City & Guilds consortium. In particular, the TechFuture programme will be transferred to City & Guilds over the summer, in preparation for the start of the next academic year.
Elsewhere, there has been a welcome boost for apprenticeships with confirmation from the Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton that large employers will be able to transfer up to 10% of their apprenticeship levy funds to multiple businesses.
Currently, levy-paying employers can transfer up to 10% of their apprenticeship service funds to one other employer. However, after calls from business to go further, the Minister has announced that from July, employers will be able to make transfers of up to 10% to as many other employers as they choose. This should give them greater flexibility in terms of working together in partnership and enable them to take on apprentices who may not otherwise have had the opportunity.
And there has been a solid show of support for the levy from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) through the publication of an open letter highlighting the benefits it can deliver. The letter was produced following the recent 10-point plan for apprenticeship reform proposed by CMI’s Ann Francke and Dr Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce. Both leaders have acknowledged that businesses need more support but have reaffirmed their belief in the long-term value of apprenticeships.
The letter insists that apprenticeship programmes are an excellent way to ensure that UK businesses have the skilled workers they need and goes on to say:
“We’ve all seen first-hand that apprenticeships can change the lives of apprentices – and the businesses they work with – for the better; and we believe that the Apprenticeship Levy gives employers a real opportunity to invest in training, bringing the well-recognised enthusiasm and new ideas of apprentices to their business.”
And finally, the closing date has now passed for applications to become members of the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) 15 occupational Route Panels.
The groups have an important role to play as they will lead the review and approval of new apprenticeship standards and technical qualifications in specific industry sectors, so it’s important for the apprenticeship world that the right appointments are made.
Ideally, the successful candidates will be “…industry experts, chosen for their standing in their sectors and for the expertise they bring.” The roles will be two-year fixed-term appointments, which may be extended by mutual agreement.