The government has set out how apprenticeships will be funded in the future. The plan is to give more support for 16- to 18-year-olds and those from disadvantaged areas.
The funding policy will underpin the new apprenticeship levy. The main measures confirmed are:
- more support for younger apprentices and disadvantaged people: 100% of training costs will be paid by government for employers with fewer than 50 employees who take on apprentices aged 16 to 18 years old. This will also apply to smaller employers who take on 19- to 24-year-olds who were in care or 19- to 24-year-olds with an education and health care plan
- £1,000 each from government to employers and training providers who take on 16- to 18-year-olds and 19- to 24-year-olds who were in care or who have an education and health care plan
- providers that train 16- to 18-year-olds on apprenticeship frameworks will be given an additional cash payment equal to 20% of the funding band maximum in order to help them to adapt to the new, simpler funding model
- providers that train apprentices from the most deprived areas on apprenticeship frameworks will continue to receive additional funding from government. More than £60 million will be invested in supporting the training of apprentices from the poorest areas in the country, equalling around one third of all apprentices.
- more flexibility for employers:
- more funding for STEM apprenticeship frameworks and higher pricing of apprenticeship standards to support improved quality, and providing greater flexibility to train those with prior qualifications. This will support the industrial strategy and provide wider opportunities for more individuals to develop new skills
To ensure higher-quality apprenticeships, the government has also introduced a new register of apprenticeship training providers. All providers on the register will have to pass quality and financial tests. Those with an ‘inadequate’ Ofsted rating for apprenticeship provision will not be eligible to apply to the register.
The new apprenticeship funding policy was outlined in August. It will underpin the levy which will be paid by employers with a pay bill of more than £3 million.