A few changes, some concessions and lots of welcome detail (NB this is a bit of a ‘provider to provider’ article).
So we now know how it will all work; until summer 2018 at least…
1)It’s going to get more complicated before it gets simpler
Next year, a provider with a comprehensive Apprenticeship offer will need to run 3 concurrent contracts:
- A legacy contract for pre May 2017 Apprentices still in learning (Framework & Trailblazer)
- A non-Levy/SME starts contract (10% cash contribution – 90% allocation based)
- A Levy account for Levy starts plus funding for their Functional skills and any ‘Levy +’ funding (for those levy payers who spend more than their levy) this contract has no £ limit or cap
2)The whistle has gone,,, line up for registration
To provide a comprehensive Apprenticeship offer you will also need to be on at least two registers (SME & Levy); unless you do less than £100k of Apprenticeship training a year.
The Levy register has 3 categories, Provider, Supporter and Employer – although getting on the Provider register does mean you are also automatically ok to be a Subcontractor as well.
3)A spoonful of sugar
The application of a temporary 16-18 framework cushion and other Uplifts for those in disadvantaged areas will mean that there is less of a funding shock to the system next year.
SMEs taking on Apprentices between May and July ’17 could possibly attract both the AGE grant and the new £2k 16-18 incentive; and if they have less than 50 employees pay no cash contribution.
4)The heaviest lifting is being done by those with the broadest shoulders
Welcome to the Socialist Funding Agency.
The ‘big 2%’ of employers will basically # pay for us all to have apprentices (although as half of these are public sector employers the funding is a bit circular).
# SMEs will make a small but significant cash contribution but it is the levy payers who will fund almost all of the costs of our new apprentices from 2017.
5)All systems go ..
So we know what we can do and we know how to do it.
It isn’t a particularly easy or simple system but it can work, and it is up to us to make it work.
I am running out of reasons why 2017 won’t be the start of something special for training in this country.
Richard Marsh, Apprenticeships Partnership Director, Kaplan UK