The Learning Skills Council (LSC) announced a major budget increase for Apprenticeships this week.
An incredible £41 million (three %) rise in finances will fund the increasing success levels admirably achieved by apprentices, accompanied by adjustments to the funding rates of some Apprenticeships. And according to Stephen Gardner, Director of Apprenticeships, a dramatic expansion and improvement in quality of the Apprenticeship programme has been clearly visible over the last three years.
He said: “Training providers have seen their incomes rise as more apprentices achieve and they receive the associated achievement payment. We now need to use the additional funding to make more places available to match the demand from employers and young people, whilst continuing to increase quality.”
Inconsistency High on Agenda
After much research and deliberation by the LSC into Apprenticeships, the words imbalance and inconsistency were high on the agenda. In response to these irregularities the LSC have made many alterations resulting in a more balanced funding system. The decision to make these adjustments has required the LSC to undergo extensive consultation with training providers who have had a great deal of experience delivering high quality Apprenticeships.
The actual cost of delivering each Apprenticeship has been carefully reviewed. The LSC have looked in detail at the real costs of delivery by the highest performing training providers across the most popular Apprenticeships. An advisory group including LSC staff as well as training providers and their representatives, the Association of Learning Providers (ALP) and the Association of Colleges (AoC), oversaw this work.
In Depth Work
The group looked in depth at the top 11 Apprenticeship frameworks, covering 80 per cent of apprentices and work will continue in the next few months to review the remaining frameworks. As a result, some Apprenticeships will see a slight increase in their funding, whilst others, where the cost of delivery was found to be less than the funding paid for, will see a fall.
The LSC cited as an example the Apprenticeship in Childrens Care, Learning and Development. This has been expanded by the Sector Skills Council to include looking after children aged 8-16 as well as the under eights. This in turn means a significant increase in the knowledge required by apprentices and assessors, hence the LSC have increased the funding for this Apprenticeship.
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