ESFA Apprentice Service Webinars

ESFA Apprentice Service Webinars

On 19th of August 2020, the Education and Skills Funding Agency announced that they will be hosting a number of webinars from September.

The webinars will be aimed at helping end-point assessment organisations, training providers, employers and other interested parties understand more about apprenticeship programmes and the apprenticeship service.

The events will be hosted by subject matter experts and cover a range of topics such as:

For more information and to sign up for further updates, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/esfa-update-19-august-2020/esfa-update-further-education-19-august-2020

Government incentive payments for hiring a new apprentice

Government incentive payments for hiring a new apprentice

Are you an employer looking to hire an apprentice? If so there is some good news. From the 1st of August 2020 until the 31st of January 2021, the Government are offering incentive payments for any employers that hire an apprentice.

This new payment is in addition to the £1,000 that employers already receive for hiring an apprentices aged 16 to 18 or who is under 25 and has an education or health and care plan or is in the care of local authority.

What type of incentives are available for employers?

Employers will receive £2,000 for apprentices aged 16 to 24 and £1,500 for apprentices 25 and over. This will be paid over two instalments. The first instalment which is 50% of the total will be paid after apprentices complete 90 days on programme. The next 50% will be paid after 365 days.

When can employers apply for the new incentive?

An employer can apply for this apprenticeship incentive payment from the 1st of September 2020. This can be done after apprentices are added to the employer’s apprenticeships service account which is used to claim funding. To receive this, employers will need to provide payment details. The new apprenticeship incentive payment can be claimed for all apprentices who started their contract of employment between 1st of August 2020 and 31st of January 2021.

What can the apprenticeship incentive payment be used for?

This payment is not the same as the apprenticeship levy funding so it can be spent on anything to support employer costs. It can even be used to pay your apprentices salary and does not have to be used to support their training.

Can employers use this to support apprentices that have been made redundant?

Yes, as an employer, you can claim still claim for this when hiring an apprentice that is new to your organisation. Have a look at support for apprentices that have been made redundant for more information on this.

Reference: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/incentive-payments-for-hiring-a-new-apprentice

Support for apprentices that have lost their jobs

Support for apprentices that have lost their jobs

As of August 1st, 2020 the Government have announced a new support service for apprentices who have lost their jobs as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The new service is called the Redundancy Support Service for Apprentices (ReSSA).

This aims to provide online and telephone support for apprentices that have been made redundant so that they can access support for the following:

  • Financial
  • Legal
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Careers Advice

Employers are also encouraged to use new incentives to hire apprentices so that more people are supported to kick start their careers.

The service aims to provide guidance for apprentices that have been made redundant and the opportunity to find another apprenticeship for anyone affected.

To encourage employers to get involved in this plan to help, the Government is offering £2000 for companies hiring apprentices under 25 and £1500 for those over 25 between now and the end of January 2021.

If you are an apprentice that has been affected by this or know someone who has, take some time to review the materials, and hopefully you can see a positive outcome soon.

COVID-19 Update July 2020

COVID-19 Update July 2020

How are Accelerate People prepared to conduct End-point Assessment (EPA)?

We are currently able to conduct EPAs remotely for all digital standards we are approved to assess and it is within our ethos to support remote working and learning. Having set up at the start of the pandemic, we were in the position to design our processes to support apprentices, employers and training providers in the current climate.

Location of Synoptic Project and Professional Discussion Interview

Official guidance from NSAR outlines that Employers and Training providers may ask an End-point Assessment Organisation for permission to allow apprentices to complete the Synoptic Project at home. This is providing that the project has been designed to facilitate this. Training Providers and Employers should request that this can be facilitated in advance of the apprentice starting the Synoptic Project. As part of this request, they should be able to justify why this is needed.

The option to take the project at home is allowable until the 31st December 2020. This will be reviewed and extended if necessary.  Until this has been advised Employers and Training Providers should not plan for apprentices to do the project at home beyond this date.

Calculated Functional Skills Qualifications

As of May 22nd, 2020 and during the Covid-19 crisis, The Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA)are permitting the re-sequencing of the EPA process to enable gateway to be passed and EPA to be taken before the FSQ calculated result is received.

For further detail please visit the IfA website.

Knowledge Modules and / or Vendor Qualifications

NSAR (the digital EQA provider) has approved flexibility during this time to allow apprentices to pass Gateway without the evidence of achievement for Knowledge Modules and / or Vendor Qualifications, in order to allow apprentices to progress onto their End-point Assessment.

NSAR has approved this arrangement on the basis that before the final grade is awarded and the certificate requested the achievement of the KM and/or VQs is evidenced.

Apprenticeship Certification Address

A temporary flexibility has been introduced to allow apprenticeship certificates to be sent to the apprentice’s training provider address or to the apprentice themselves if the employer’s office is closed. The guidance from the government has been updated to reflect this temporary change, more information is available here.

Further updates and support for apprentices, employers and training

We will continue to engage with the EQA directly and any further updates will be published.  In the meantime we at Accelerate People are here to help so please do not hesitate to contact us: info@accelerate-people.co.uk