It looks like apprenticeships could be changing again or at least the funding part of them! The Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education (IfATE) has recently announced that they are launching a second consultation for a new apprenticeship funding model. Following a review of over 200 consultation responses, they have laid out revised plans for a new funding model.
It was back in February 2020 during the initial consultation where it was announced that apprenticeship funding rates for some standards could be cut by almost half. With everything else that has gone on this year, a drastic drop in funding like this could have had a detrimental impact on the entire educational system. This move was seen as the possible downfall of apprenticeships with a massive detrimental impact on the number and type that would be delivered.
The CEO of IfATE, Jennifer Coupland, stated that ‘We have listened to feedback and explored ways in which additional variation can be achieved in our approach, without negatively impacting the transparency of the model’.
What is this new model?
The new proposed model is a ‘rates-based variable model’ which is, in essence, a hybrid of the original model. The idea is that an estimated band is generated at the very beginning of the apprenticeship development process when an occupational proposal is approved for development. This is where the ‘rates-based’ part comes in as it relies on research being carried out into both the cost of the apprenticeship training and the assessment part. These rates are then adjusted to reflect the duration and sector of the individual apprenticeship.
The ‘variable’ part allows the IfATE to vary the levels of funding to account for the varied costs between different apprenticeships. It only allows for changes within several components though, rather than across the entire apprenticeship.
How will this help employers?
The whole idea of this new apprenticeship funding model is to introduce a more transparent system, listening to the feedback they have received from employees. This reform will mean that employers are able to provide more information than usual, to ensure they receive the correct levels of funding.
As well as providing more support for employers, this rates-based variable model will help more businesses benefit from apprenticeship levy funding. This second-round consultation is set to go ahead for 6 weeks, and if you have any questions you would like to put forward to the IfATE you are able to contact them directly on Institute-Funding.CONSULTATION@education.gov.uk. As always, the team at Brooks and Kirk are also on hand to answer any questions you may have – feel free to give us a ring on 01205 805 155.