Whether you are experienced in taking on apprentices or thinking about this for the first time, we will help guide you through the system. Whichever camp you fall into, there are some very important changes due to take place in 2020 that are likely to affect you.
Large employers (those with a wage bill of over £3million) will be classed as Levy payers – if you fall into this category, you are likely to know all about this already as you have to pay 0.5% of that bill into the levy fund. The Government currently adds in another 10% of that your levy amount and you can use this to fund your own apprenticeships. You can also transfer up to 25% of your levy (if you are not using all of it) to smaller businesses in your supply chain, so that they can train their workforce.
For everyone else, you will fall into the Non-Levy bracket and be asked to contribute just 5% to the cost of the apprenticeship – the remaining 95% is funded by the Government. This is called co- investment. If you take on an apprentice that falls within the 16-18 years old bracket, then you do not pay a contribution and the entire apprenticeship is funded by the Government. Whilst the above is generally true, the bad news is that the funding rules are not necessarily quite that clear cut… the good news is we are here to help; we are experienced in working with employers and the apprenticeship system and would be happy to sit down with you to discuss your particular requirements.
The Apprenticeship Service
Levy paying employers will already be using the Digital Apprenticeship Service to access their levy funds. For smaller employers, the situation is a little different: Until November 2020, non-levy employers pay the 5% co investment directly to the training provider and we draw down the funds directly from the Government.
From November onwards, non-levy employers will have to access the digital apprenticeship service to reserve the funds for the apprenticeship(s) you are interested in. You will also be able to select your preferred training provider. The advantage of this system to you is that you are in complete control of the funding and the training provider that you choose to work with. You will be able to create an account on this service by visiting: https://accounts.manage-apprenticeships.service.gov.uk/service/index?
From now until November, either system can be used although the emphasis from the Government is on utilising the Digital Apprenticeship Service. You can create an account on this service by visiting the Government site: https://accounts.manage-apprenticeships.service.gov.uk/service/index? Once set up on the Apprenticeship Service, you can handover the administration of the apprenticeship to us (you still retain full control however).
Finding an Apprentice
Once you have made the decision to take on an apprentice and you have selected your training provider – which we hope will be us – you may be wondering how you actually set about finding an apprentice.
The easiest way is to talk to us… we have access to the national ‘Find an Apprenticeship’ service and can place job vacancy notices on it. This service can then be searched by potential apprentices from all over the country, who are then able to apply directly.
You can employ an individual directly, without going through the Find an Apprenticeship service, but you/ the apprentice will need to approach us about the apprenticeship you are interested in. We will need to conduct an initial interview to ensure that the individual is happy to take on an apprenticeship and to ascertain what level of support may be required. Remember that to be an apprentice, that person must be employed for at least 30 hours a week and be paid at least the national minimum wage for apprentices.
Frameworks & Standards
There has been a major shift in how apprenticeships are delivered, under the old Frameworks scheme, the apprentice would be assessed at regular points throughout their apprenticeship. The newer Standards operate totally differently. It’s worth noting that Frameworks are being withdrawn from delivery from July 2020 and all training providers will effectively have to deliver Standards. We are already running our Framework apprenticeships down and only offering the modern Standards.
Under the new Standards, apprentices learn the required knowledge, skills and behaviours during the practical period and are then independently assessed at the end, during the end point assessment. During the practical period employers must allow apprentices to take 20% of their contracted hours in order to complete off-job-training (OJT). The 20% OJT rule is a requirement of an apprenticeship and generally amounts to one day a week of training.
You can find a list of the Standards that are available for delivery at:
Many businesses benefit from the decision to take on an apprentice, some do it because they want to grow their own business in the future and others go down this route as they believe that apprenticeships offer a great way to train and prepare young people for a career in their industry more generally.
Whatever your reasons are for having an apprentice, please talk to us first to find out more. We will work with you to find your apprentice, advise you on an appropriate Standard to take, and guide you and your apprentice through the programme. Contact our Head of Apprenticeships, Dee Vickers, on 01305 215241 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.