Apprenticeship complexities can be confusing

Apprenticeships are going through a period of transition, included changes to the way courses are designed and the way they’re funded.

As of May 2017, apprenticeships are primarily paid for through levy accounts. Employers with a wage bill in excess of £3m pay into an account which will then fund their apprenticeship training.

But businesses that don’t have a levy account, or those that have spent their levy still have access to apprenticeships.

Training 2000’s Paul Duerden explains: “One of the biggest challenges at the moment is helping employers understand how funding works and working with them to maximise their levies and ensure they’ve got the programmes in place that suit their needs.

“Even if a business doesn’t have a levy account, or they’ve allocated all their resources, there is a co-funding model where the government covers 90 per cent of the cost and the employer pays 10 per cent. For businesses with fewer than 50 staff, the government pays 100 per cent for 16-18 year olds.”

The second challenge for businesses right now is the shift from established apprenticeship Frameworks to new Standards. The government’s target was to complete this process by 2017, but that’s been pushed back to 2020, with some courses and levels revised and others not.

“Businesses can find that the apprenticeship they’ve had for each of the last five or six years has been replaced by a Standard,” says Paul. “Or they’re still on an old apprenticeship Framework, but because it’s not on a new Standard funding has been significantly reduced.”

In other cases, says Paul, new Standards don’t exist, and the answer is to establish a ‘trailblazer group’, where ten like-minded employers work with the Institute of Apprenticeships to create a new Apprenticeship Standard.

Paul adds: “It’s quite complex at the moment, but there are still lots of opportunities for businesses. The best thing an employer can do is have a face-to-face chat with Training 2000. Discuss what skills you want from your apprenticeships, what your levy situation is, and we’ll find a solution that works.”

Training 2000 has been established for over 50 years offering businesses and individuals training solutions and Apprenticeships in a range of sectors. Recently it was announced that Training 2000 had become part of the University of Central Lancashire family. This new strategic alliance positions UCLan and Training 2000 as the largest provider of Degree Apprenticeships in the region.

Q: Where are you located?

A: We’re based in Blackburn, with sites in Burnley, Blackpool, Nelson and Carlisle. We serve businesses throughout Lancashire and across the UK.

Q: What training do you provide?

A: Our main areas are engineering and advanced manufacturing, and we also specialise in military preparation, automotive, dental nursing, business admin and accounting, scaffolding and we have a new cyber security division. We train at every stage, from Level 1 to apprenticeship to degree.

Q: What makes Training 2000 great?

A: OFSTED rated us outstanding in engineering and dental nursing, and we’re one of the best in the UK for apprenticeship achievement rates. We’ve won multiple awards, all our teaching staff have industry experience, and we can help manage your Apprenticeship Levy account. We’re now part of the UCLan family, too.