In our recent blog, we talked about the new apprenticeship funding model that has been introduced in order to ensure employers receive the correct levels of funding. The idea behind this new transparent funding approach is to ensure the funding band recommendations will support high quality training for many years to come.
What is a Funding Band?
A funding band is an estimate of the typical costs for delivering the training and assessment of an apprenticeship. This is separate to wages, which the employer is fully responsible for.
The funding band helps to support employers as it helps more to benefit from levy funding. Helping to deliver value for money in the apprenticeship programme.
The first round improvements to apprenticeship funding were introduced in May 2019, which focused on gaining data from employers. The idea behind this was to identify how much training costs, and comparing this with existing standards and qualifications.
Once this data had been collected, funding band recommendations were produced. There were three main aims that The Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education (IfATE) wanted this new funding to achieve:
- Transparency throughout the entire process
- A greater reliance on independent evidence
- Providing flexibility within specific apprenticeships
Value for money was also something that was a priority; for both the taxpayer and employers themselves.
Round 1 of Feedback
The first consultation ran for 3 months starting in February this year, and over 200 responses were received. Luckily, the feedback was really positive, and the majority thought that the proposed model was simpler and more transparent; which were two of the main aims.
It was also brought to the attention of the IfATE that more refinement was required in order to strike a balance between having a model that was easy to understand, whilst also addressing the reasons for the variations in costs.
Following the first round of feedback, an upgraded funding model was produced called the ‘rates-based’ model. This is where an estimated funding band is generated at the beginning of the apprenticeship development process. It is still in trial stages at the moment, but if one of the testers considers the estimate to be incorrect for their specific standard, they can feed this back to allow for a bespoke estimate to be calculated instead.
The consultation process for this new revised funding model is due to close on the 6th October 2020. So as soon as we have any update on the results we will pop together another blog post for you. If you would like any more information about apprenticeship funding, please get in touch with the team at Brooks and Kirk on 01205 805 155.