From education to employment

Support for retail employers on apprenticeship levy and assessment

Employers looking to make the most of the impending changes to apprenticeships this spring will have help from one of the UK’s leading awarding organisations.

Highfield Qualifications has been approved by the government to provide end-point assessment (EPA) for the new Retailer Level 2 apprenticeship standard, which is currently being introduced throughout the sector, and will be offering retail employers a full range of support services to make the most of their potential apprenticeship levy payments. 

The changes are some of the biggest ever to training in the UK, and will see new apprenticeship standards like the Retailer Level 2 use EPA instead of continuous assessment, meaning individual apprentices will have their work and competence assessed towards the end of their learning against criteria established by retail employers.  

There will also be the introduction of the apprenticeship levy from 1 May 2017, with larger employers paying into a central fund that must be used for apprenticeship training, while smaller employers will see 90 percent of their costs covered by the government.

Chris Sprenger, Highfield MD, said, ‘We understand the forthcoming changes have caused concern to many businesses in a retail sector already facing the prospect of minimum wage rises and an uncertain landscape after Brexit.

However, with our recognition by government as an apprentice assessment organisation (AAO), Highfield is in a position to provide specific assessment services for those businesses already taking on Retailer Level 2 apprentices. We can also offer consultancy and advice to any organisation still trying understand the changes and make the most of them –  whether they are looking to take on apprentices for the first time, wanting to have their existing in-house training recognised, or searching for services and resources to ensure they claim their full share of funding entitlement’.

He added, ‘Apprenticeships are great for business and can provide a welcome boost to staff development and productivity when it is most needed, but it’s vital that organisations understand from day one how to make sure the changes are of benefit to them and their employees’. 

Highfield’s apprenticeship services are being offered through its Highfield Assessment brand.

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You can also contact Highfield at [email protected] or by calling 0845 2260350.

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Notes to editors:

1.            Highfield Qualifications has been approved by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) as an apprenticeship assessment organisation (AAO) for the provision of end-point assessment for the Retailer Level 2 apprenticeship standard. Highfield’s apprenticeship services are delivered through its Highfield Assessment brand.

2.            Highfield Qualifications is one of the UK’s top five awarding organisations (AO) and winner of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2016, offering over 250 qualifications covering a wide variety of industries including retail, health and social care, rail, food safety, security, catering and hospitality, and logistics.

3.            Highfield Qualifications is part of the Highfield Group, which includes:

•             Highfield Qualifications – awarding organisation (AO)

•             Highfield International – learning resources publisher

•             Highfield elearning – developer of e-learning, e-assessment and learner management systems

•             Highfield Assessment – apprenticeship assessment organisation (AAO)

•             Highfield MEA – international operations, based in Dubai

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