The Institute (@IfATechED) has listened to consultation feedback on plans to reform how funding bands are recommended for apprenticeships.

The update published today acknowledged broad support for our more transparent new model.

We will continue to refine the variable element of the model which allows employers to provide more bespoke estimates, and to test the impact of the model. We have also committed to consider ways to manage how changes to funding bands are introduced to avoid market disruption and support employers to access quality apprenticeship provision.

Anna West, Deputy Director, Apprenticeship Approvals and Funding Team, who has also published an article, said:

“I would like to thank everyone for taking part in the consultation process. We are determined to get this right and your input is vital. It was really encouraging that many people welcomed the more transparent approach and we are continuing to look at how we can make it work even better.”

The proposed new model captures those costs which are eligible for government funding. While eligible costs policy remains outside the scope of this consultation, in parallel to the consultation the ESFA has agreed to review this policy.

The Institute will publish a full response in the new year to the consultation, together with the outcomes of the first phase of impact testing of the new model, informed by the ESFA’s review of eligible costs policy.

The Institute launched the reform process in response to feedback that the existing system for making funding band recommendations, based around employers gathering quotes for how much training costs and comparisons with existing standards and qualifications, was not transparent enough.

The aims are increased transparency, consistency, and value for money.

A report by IFF Research into the actual costs of delivering apprenticeships was used to develop a more transparent model, which aims to represent eligible delivery costs.

The Institute used feedback from our first consultation on this initial model, which took place between February and May this year, to develop a modified approach. This would provide trailblazers with an early estimate of the maximum government funding level their apprenticeship stands to receive, based on an automated “rates-based” model. If a trailblazer considers this inappropriate, they can provide information to allow us to make a bespoke estimate of likely eligible costs.

The Institute held a second consultation on this updated model between August and October 2020.  We were pleased to receive 180 consultation responses, and shared our proposals with over 1,000 people as part of engagement activities and events.

The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education were consulting on a new approach to recommending Apprenticeship funding bands.

This consultation closed at midnight on Tuesday 6 October, the Institute will publish a consultation summary as soon as possible. 

The consultation on a proposed model for apprenticeship funding band recommendations has closed. It was open from Tuesday 25 August until Tuesday 6 October.

IfATE are analysing the responses, as well as the feedback they received at engagements during the consultation.  

Subject to the outcome of the consultation, IfATE plan to run a pilot and will keep under review the most appropriate time to do so. IfATE will provide further details shortly ahead of beginning the pilot.​

IfATE will share the consultation summary response and plans as soon as possible, and will also email consultation respondents as soon as these are available.

Thank you for your input so far in helping to develop a new, more transparent approach to recommending funding bands. 

New approach to recommending Apprenticeship funding bands

These are an estimate of the typical eligible costs for delivering an apprenticeship. The band sets a maximum amount the government will contribute to an employer to cover the costs of learning and assessment. Employers pay apprentices’ wages themselves.

The funding band system helps more employers to benefit from apprenticeship levy funding by delivering overall value for money in the programme.

IfATE were pleased to meet around 150 people from across the sector at virtual events. Thank you to all who attended and shared their views.

IfATE then expanded the testing of the proposed model on standards that are already live for delivery. 

During testing, IfATE asked for the type of information used for the ‘variable’ element of the new model, such as modes of delivery and consumable costs for at least one apprenticeship standard.

IfATE will use this information to estimate the funding band that the proposed model would generate for the standard. This will help them understand the impact of the model and refine it further. IfATE will share details of the funding band which the model would generate for the standard, and any plans they have to adapt the model after testing. Participating in this testing would not lead to a change in your funding bands.

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