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Levy clawback and Apprenticeship funding changes – FE Soundbite 655

Gavin O'Meara
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Welcome to FE Soundbite, this is our weekly newsletter and e-journal brought to you by FE News. This is edition 655 (so we have been producing FE Soundbite for over 12.5 years). We know you are flat out busy, so FE Soundbite was created to give you a snapshot of the big announcements, interesting thought leadership and interesting content I think you might find interesting from this week on FE News.

Apprenticeship Levy Claw Back

More than £3.3 billion has returned to the Treasury in the last three years under the Government’s use-it-or-lose-it apprenticeship levy rules, according to new data collected by apprenticeships experts the London Progression Collaboration (LPC).

The report co-author Jack Shaw wrote this really interesting exclusive for us to unpack the report: Levy Transfer is Only Part of the Solution to the Government’s use-it-or-lose-it Approach

Not being funny… but that is a huge amount of money. Surely this should be ringfenced for SME’s to take on Apprentices (if the corporates don’t want the money, then pass it on)… or to help engage more entry level Apprentices (as LPC highlighted in a report during National Apprenticeship Week that there has been a 72% fall in entry-level apprenticeship uptake since 2014).

So something needs to be done to fix this. Thing is, this isn’t new news. Richard Marsh highlight the amount of Apprenticeship Levy Clawback in Jan 2020! So the Government has know about this for a while, but I suppose it all could change with a new PM. If we have Rishi move up one door to become PM, he was already exploring changes to the Apprenticeship Levy and this was when his own department was on the receiving end of £3.3 Billion! That is a lot of wine and cheese!

Hopefully, we will see some positive change. Personally, having an Apprenticeship progression route is amazing, but we also need to have balance, so we aren’t just expanding Degree Level Apprenticeships to the detriment of entry Level Apprenticeships. We need balance. Let’s hope, wait and see.

What can we do in the meantime? Personally, the sector needs to be united, to offer a joint solution, as when it comes to funding, people can get snatchy and if we are all snatchy, people take the thing away and give it to someone else. So we need to be united in our response on how to help increase opportunities and impact through unspent Levy funds. Just my take.

What are the Apprenticeship Funding Rule Changes?

Talking of Apprenticeship Funding. On the 1st August 2022 (Monday), the Apprenticeship Funding Rules are changing. We have had a bunch of very cool articles to unpack what this means.

Simon Ashworth from AELP wrote a really helpful article giving an overview of the major changes that are rolling out from Monday: Apprenticeship Funding Rules: Big Changes are Coming in a Matter of Days.

Apprenticeship Off the Job Changes, from 20% off the job to 6 hours per week:

Kerry Linley wrote a really helpful piece on the Apprenticeship off the Job Changes: Change to off-the-job requirement removes barrier to apprenticeships. Well, from 01 August 2022, the 20 per cent off-the-job requirement for all apprenticeships will no longer apply. It will be replaced by a baseline of six hours per week, irrespective of hours worked by the apprentice.  It means apprentices who work more than 30 hours per week can now spend less than 20% of their time doing off-the-job training.

New ESFA funding rules for learning support released

Here is a very helpful article from our friends at Cognassist. Learning Support Funding remains fixed at £150 per month. The new Apprenticeship funding rules reinforce the steps providers must take to evidence learning support, these include ESFA Two-step process: Identify the need and Determine the Impact, Discretionary use of Assessment Tools, the changes to the rules give a clear indication of the importance of assessing learning needs on enrolment as a quality measure.

There is a lot to explore and take in… so I hope the above articles are helpful.. as at the end of the day, we published these to help you, help your team, help your learners and employers.

Exclusive thought leadership articles from this week.. from leaders at Cap Gemini, Dell, Edge, ETF and NATO!

At the beginning of the week we had a really interesting article from Sir James Everard, Former Deputy Supreme Allied Commander for NATO: Youth Tech Skills can Help Solve the UK Digital Skills Crisis, It is not every day you have a former NATO commander write on FE News!

We also had a very popular article by Diane Herft: Keeping hold of valued colleagues when so many are questioning their current positions. Neil Bates, Chair of Trustees at the Edge wrote: Without proper investment in the teaching workforce, England’s technical education reforms are doomed to failure.

ETF’s Cerian Ayres shares: What have Further Forces and SET for Teaching Success Taught us about Recruiting Technical Teachers? Helen Tupper asks Could teaching in Further Education kick start your portfolio career?

Skills for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Workplaces of tomorrow

We can’t have a FE Soundbite without exploring the Fourth Industrial Revoluion: Sally Caughey from Cap Gemini explores: Fourth Industrial Revolution: The skills needed for the future. Dell’s Tariq Hussain wrote: Business innovation and hybrid-working working: The tech at the heart of tomorrow’s workplaces

Netscout’s Richard Hummel wrote about How the education sector can successfully thwart DDoS attacks

Sharon Davies asks: What does the current political instability mean for levelling up?

Massive thank you and shout out!

This week, I had Covid again. I was proper porridge brains and I want to give recognition where massive recognition is due. The FE News team stepped up! Thank you Aliyah Harvey and Finley Vile. They not only smashed a tonne of content out of the park. They also put together an epic line up of content (please see above!), they second and final interviewed a new member who will be joining the team soon (Holly), did the finishing touches on checking out a new office for us (yep we are expanding)… all when I had Covid and was literally talking gobbledy gook (more than usual as well). So thank you team!

I hope you enjoy FE Soundbite this week!

Gavin, CEO and Founder, FE News and FE Careers

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