Changes to apprenticeships and funding

It seems that you can’t go anywhere these days without hearing words and phrases such as ‘unprecedented’, ‘stay safe’, ‘be alert’ and ‘furloughed’.

But as the world slowly starts getting back to a new way of working, things are undoubtedly going to change. One expected area of growth in the coming weeks, months and years is going to be apprenticeships.

New changes have been introduced which are designed to make it easier for businesses to access their apprenticeship funding, creating their own online accounts and taking more responsibility for their apprenticeships. This includes a greater range of apprenticeship standards offering more flexibility and suitability, plus it allows business to reserve funding for the apprenticeship period creating a greater level of security for everyone involved.

Also let’s not forget, apprenticeships these days are not the exclusive right of young people!  There is no age limit, which means you could also use the apprenticeship scheme to upskill your current workforce.  

So, we know that apprenticeships work and that they’re worthwhile but it’s also important to understand the details as some of it has changed fairly dramatically in recent months. With everything that’s been going on with the global pandemic, it’s probably slipped under most people’s radar that access to apprenticeship funding has changed significantly since the start of 2020. 

 

Changes you need to consider

  • You need to apply for funding if you do not pay apprenticeship levy (e.g. annual wage bill less than £3m) – With the introduction of the Digital Apprenticeship Service it’s now the responsibility of the employer to secure the Apprenticeship funding. By not doing that properly, businesses run the risk of losing out on up to £14,500 worth of contribution available towards each apprentice. 
  • Standards not frameworks – As you may well be aware apprenticeships have changed from frameworks (NVQ Certificate & Diploma) to standards. The standards require the learning provider to develop a curriculum and therefore can be more bespoke to the current working practices as well as the organisation.

 

Advantages of Greenlight apprenticeships

  • We can deal with funding – With your consent, we can secure funding on your behalf. If you do not set up and secure the funding against your account and decide to register apprentices later in the year, the pot could be empty!
  • You can start at any time – Our apprenticeships can start at any time as they are roll on roll off.
  • Better communication – Not only will we be liaising with employers to create up to date and bespoke curriculums, we also intend to meet with the employer on a regular basis to keep them up to date on progression or answer any concern or queries.
  • Off the job training – As the apprenticeship is work based learning, the apprentice will only attend our training centre 3 days a month, during which we will teach the following: 
    • Theoretical knowledge of their apprenticeship in order to develop their understanding to assist them in their practical application
    • Functional Skills – Teach Maths and English if the operative didn’t obtain the relevant grades at GCSE level
    • Added Value – During the apprenticeship the apprentices will also receive training in some of the following subjects at no additional cost; Mental Health Awareness, Emergency First Aid at Work, Customer Services, Working at Heights, Asbestos Awareness, Use of Nail Guns/Abrasive Wheels, Safe Use of Power Tools, Manual Handling, RPE face fit & Dust Awareness
    • End Point Assessment (EPA) – We will prepare the apprentices for their EPA prior to putting them through the Gateway for their last three months
  • Onsite Assessments – Every month we will carry out a half day assessment of every apprentice, ordinarily this will include an assessment of tasks or possibly an opportunity to provide 1:1 training in an area where the apprentice requires some additional tuition.
  • Mentoring – Apprentices are normally placed with experienced team members who carry out a mentoring role and assist in providing the practical training. We will ensure that these mentoring sessions are captured and documented within the individual’s file.

 

So there is plenty to think about!  Whilst it is fresh in your mind, feel free to contact Dan Symons with any questions on 01752 604713 or dsymons@greenlightsc.co.uk.  He’ll be happy to help and is determined to enable you to gain funding and upskill your team.

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