The apprenticeship reforms have now been implemented
In April 2017 the Government introduced apprenticeship reforms which have significantly changed the way apprenticeships are delivered and funded across the UK. The purpose of this reform is to create three million new apprentices by 2020; giving school leavers a viable alternative to traditional career and educational paths, which in turn aims to upskill the UK's workforce and therefore reduce the current skills gap.
Please find below the key features of the new apprenticeship reforms.
The apprenticeship levy
If you are an employer with an annual pay bill of over £3 million each year, you are required to pay the apprenticeship levy from 6th April 2017. This is an automated payment directly to the HMRC through the PAYE process.
The levy is charged monthly at 0.5% of an employer's annual pay bill, which accumulates within their own 'levy pot' – a source of funding that can only be spent on apprenticeship training. Each month's deposit has a life-span of 2 years, after which this money is recuperated by the Government and invested in the training needs of smaller businesses.
Whether you are ready or not, levy payments have been automated since the start of April 2017, so it's more important than ever for employers to make the necessary arrangements to begin thier apprenticeship training programmes.
Digital apprenticeship service (DAS)
The digital apprenticeship service is an online account that allows levy-paying employers to receive their funds, manage their apprenticeship contracts and pay their training providers.
It is also where employers access the Register of Approved Training Providers. This register details government-approved training institutions, of which Quest Training is proudly apart of.
For more information about the apprenticeship service and to register for an account, please visit the GOV UK website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/manage-apprenticeship-funds
Co-investment for non-levy paying employers
The apprenticeship reform doesn't solely affect levy-paying businesses. Employers that have an annual payroll bill of under £3 million are also required to invest funding for apprenticeships within this new scheme.
However, instead of paying the levy, employers will pay 10% towards the cost of apprenticeship training, with the government invest the remaining 90%.
Please note: non-levy paying employers are currently unable to register for an Apprenticeship Service account, and instead will arrange payments directly with its chosen training provider.
For more information regarding the new responsibilities of non levy-paying employers, please visit the GOV UK website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeship-levy-how-it-will-work/apprenticeship-levy-how-it-will-work#non-levy-paying-employers
New standards & end-point assessments
In order to place employers at the heart of their staff's training, new standards are being introduced that will replace the current apprenticeship frameworks. These standards have been industry-led by selected employer 'trailblazer' groups, and are designed to offer a simple and affective solution to ensuring apprentices are truly ready to implement their training in a non-apprenticeship role.
Key points to note are:
Employees with a university degree are now eligible to enrol on an apprenticeship training programme, providing that the apprenticeship chosen is materially different to the indivudal's previous qualification.
All apprentices are required to undertake an end point assessment from a registered organisation that is not associated with the lead training provider. In most cases, the assessors will be chosen and contracted by the training provider.