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ISSUE 03 | April 2016

Our Trailblazer edition...

We're pleased to launch our first BPEC Brief of 2016. This edition we're focusing on Trailblazer Apprenticeships, bringing you a variety of news and updates that will keep you up to speed on developments in this area. If you have any colleagues that might also find this of interest, please ask them to sign up and forward this email to them.

We hope you find the stories below of use. Are there any particular issues you'd like to see featured here? Please let us know! If you'd like to see something in the next edition - please contact us

Apprenticeship Standards – list of occupations

This document provides a list of all the apprenticeship standards that are currently being developed by groups of employers (trailblazers). It identifies their stage of development – including whether they are ready for delivery.

A standard is considered ready for delivery when it has an approved assessment plan and a funding cap assigned.

Apprenticeships ready for delivery

If you wish to drill down further, via this link you can view a spreadsheet of standards ready for delivery, each with an:

  • approved assessment plan
  • allocated funding cap
  • apprenticeship level 

Full Standards for download

From this page you can download full details all of Trailblazer standards that are currently available. 

Plumbing and Domestic Heating Technician

The high level standard for the Plumbing & Heating Apprenticeship has been developed and can be accessed via this link.

Some of the key features of the new apprenticeship are as follows:

  • It is a level 3 apprenticeship.
  • Typical completion for a new entrant is likely to be 48 months.
  • Alongside the core knowledge and skills requirements, there are 4 optional units to cover specialist areas, such as fuel and environmental technologies.
  • Completion of the apprenticeship will satisfy requirements for registration as EngTech by the Engineering Council.

The assessment plan and content of the new qualification are currently being developed by the plumbing and heating employer and stakeholder working groups.

More information on the progress of this new apprenticeship will follow.

Trailblazer apprenticeship funding requirements for employers

This document explains to employers how the Skills Funding Agency will fund the new apprenticeship standards. It applies to employers taking on an apprentice under the new apprenticeship standards between 1 September 2014 and 31 July 2015.

For 2014 to 2015 employers must make a cash contribution for all or part of their apprenticeship training and assessment in order to receive government funding for their apprenticeship. Government will invest £2 for every £1 of investment made by them, up to the maximum cap set for each standard

Some examples of funding are listed below;

Government Contributions to Framework Apprenticeships

So, an employer is expected to contribute the following funds towards an apprenticeship:

  • no costs for Intermediate and Advanced Apprenticeships if the apprentice is aged 16-18
  • 50% of the training costs if the apprentice is aged 19-23
  • 60% of the training costs if the apprentice is 24+ 

SFA Funding Rules

Full guidance for providers on funding rules relating to Trailblazers in the 14/15, 15/16 and 16/17 funding years.

The Apprenticeship Levy

The levy will apply to all UK employers in both the private and public sectors.

It is payable on annual pay bills of more than £3 million. Employers with an annual pay bill of less than £3 million will not pay the levy. These employers will continue to have access to government funding to support apprenticeships. In June 2016 the Government will provide further details of what that support is expected to be.

Less than 2% of UK employers will pay the apprenticeship levy. Read more on how the levy will work...

Institute for Apprenticeships

The Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) will be operational from April 2017. It will support the delivery of a world-class apprenticeship programme for England, giving employers control and decision-making over content and quality of apprenticeship standards.

The new IfA measures being introduced to the Enterprise Bill will:

  • Give the IfA powers to undertake quality and approval functions in relation to apprenticeship standards and assessment plans.
  • Give the IfA powers in relation to wider quality assurance functions, including making arrangements for assessing the quality of the end point assessment for each apprenticeship.
  • Give the IfA responsibility to advise Government of funding allocations per each apprenticeship standard.
  • Require the IfA to appoint a majority of employers to the Board, to ensure that it is an employer led body.

Rachel Sandby-Thomas CB has been appointed to the role of shadow CEO of the Institute for Apprenticeships.

The IfA will be employer-led; an independent chair will lead the work of a small board made up primarily of employers, business leaders and their representatives, to ensure employers continue to drive apprenticeship quality to the highest level. A shadow Chair will be appointed later this Spring, and the board members will be appointed through a public appointments process by the end of 2016. Read more...

Apprenticeships Guide for Employers

A new National Apprenticeship Service guide has been published to give employers the information and benefits of recruiting apprentices to their business. The guide also offers information for employers considering offering traineeships to young people. With traineeships, businesses have the opportunity to build a pool of high-quality future recruits for their sector, while helping young people take their first steps toward employment.

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F: 0845 121 1931

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