The Apprenticeship Reform – What Changed?
It has been a few years now since the Apprenticeship reform, but nonetheless, we wanted to touch on the subject. This is because over the next few weeks we will be running through some of the core topics from our new End-Point Assessment Online Award. Let’s look at some of the background first though, before we delve into the EPA itself.
It was back on the 31st July 2020 when the final apprenticeship frameworks were withdrawn, and replaced with the new apprenticeship standards for the following academic year. Here are the main differences between the old Framework and the new Standards:
- Developed by sector bodies to assess apprenticeships
- Each framework contains different pathways, which set out different roles
- Includes competence-based and technical questions
- Qualification-led so further on-the-job training may be required
- Learning outcomes had to be met as well as an assessment criteria
- Developed by a group of employers (‘trailblazers’)
- Apprentices learn all the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed for their job
- The apprentice can take up to 12 months to ensure they are competent in the role
- An End-Point Assessment is carried out to prove all aspects of the role can be carried out by the apprentice.
- 3 elements: on-programme, gateway, then the End-Point Assessment
Benefits to Employers
As we explained in depth during our original post about the changing world of apprenticeships, there were also lots of funding changes that came into place in 2017. The main one being the Apprenticeship Levy, which was introduced to encourage employers to invest in apprenticeship programs. A study was recently carried out which concluded that businesses with an apprentice achieved:
- 20% more sales
- 25% less turnover of staff
- 37% fewer employer absences
- 10% better customer feedback
The process of mapping apprentices to career progression, it completely changes the way in which businesses go about employing new staff. Business are able to attract younger talent who are looking for a career, rather than hiring someone in at an entry-level position who will leave after a few years.
Helping With The UK Skills Gap
The apprenticeship reform was designed to help improve skills within the UK. This is because the apprenticeship standards are being used as a more sustainable route of employment, creating real careers. It is one of the best ways to fill skill gaps within businesses as apprentices are trained on-the-job.
One of the main differences between the old framework and the new standard is that occupational competence now plays a major role in the apprenticeship. What this means is that rather than just gaining the qualification, now apprentices have to prove that they can actually apply their new knowledge and skills to the role they are working in.
The Future of Apprenticeship Standards
Whilst we can’t imagine there are going to be any major changes to the apprenticeship standards any time soon, we can really start to see the benefits of this reform creeping in. There have been lots of refinements when it comes to the assessment plans (created by the End Point Assessment Organisation). This is because the assessment plans in the new standard detail the what, who, where, when and how. As you can imagine, across such a large number of apprentices there have been lots of fine details to iron out over the past year!
If you would like more information on this apprenticeship reform, or on our new End-Point Assessment Online Award, please give us a call on 01205 805 155 and one of the team will be more than happy to help.
Steve is a Chartered Manager and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.
He provides Educational Consultancy to the 19+ sector as well as being an Assessor, IQA, EPA and Digital Marketing Professional. When not doing any of these he finds time, every now and then, to write blogs and articles.