Extension of Apprenticeship Flexibilities

The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (the Institute) is further extending apprenticeship flexibilities until at least the end of August.

The Institute is prolonging special measures allowing for the completion of apprenticeships through the pandemic.

It will mean that no flexibilities will be withdrawn before the end of August.

The Institute has acted fast to reassure the sector, in view of latest escalations with the spread of COVID-19 over the festive period and important tougher restrictions on movement and interaction.

Jennifer Coupland, chief executive of the Institute, said:

“We are all too aware that the escalation of COVID-19 and resulting lockdown restrictions are hugely distressing for our sector and beyond.”

“I am determined that the Institute will continue to do all we can to support employers and providers. It is also hugely important that we do all we can to help apprentices continue their training and complete wherever possible”

“There are now flexibilities in place for over 130 apprenticeships and it would be wrong to disrupt them at this time. That is why we have made the decision extend.”

The flexibilities have been rolled out for apprenticeships to ensure learners are still able to complete their studies. In most cases they allow for high quality remote rather than face-to-face assessment.

It was previously announced in November that these special measures, agreed with employer and training groups for different apprenticeship sectors,  would be retained until the end of March 2021.

The Institute will now not consider the withdrawal of any flexibilities before May 1 and will provide at least three-months-notice of any decision to terminate. The earliest flexibilities could actually be withdrawn is the end of August.

Jennifer added: “As we’ve said before, our aim with the extension of these special measures is to provide everyone involved with much-needed stability. We continue to be open to requests to new or revised flexibilities and are monitoring closely the overall performance of standards to identify where new flexibilities might be required.”

Recruiting Apprentices Who Have Been Made Redundant

The Redundancy Support Service for Apprentices (ReSSA), introduced by the Department for Education, provides advice and guidance to apprentices following redundancy, while supporting their next steps. It will allow redundant apprentices to find new opportunities for work and complete their current apprenticeship.

The Department for Education is asking employers to support redundant apprentices by sharing any apprenticeship vacancies they have. Apprentices that have been made redundant may already have the valuable skills and experience that the organisation needs. Vacancy details will be shared with redundant apprentices through the new vacancy sharing service.

If you are aware of any apprentices who have been made redundant or might be made redundant in the future, please encourage them to visit facing redundancy during your apprenticeship or call 0800 015 0400 to speak to an adviser.

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