Consultation outcome

Apprenticeship funding reform in England: payment mechanisms and funding principles

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

This consultation has concluded

Download the full outcome

Detail of outcome

The analysis shows there was no clear preference for either of the proposed options presented in the consultation for directing payments to employers.

Giving employers direct control of apprenticeship funding remains a central and fixed part of our funding reforms.

We’ll continue to work closely with employers and other major stakeholders to achieve the most effective way of doing this.

Feedback received

Detail of feedback received

The summary of responses, by ICF International, presents an independent analysis of the 1,459 responses to the consultation. Employers were the largest group of respondents, accounting for over two-thirds of total responses. Nearly half of the employers were small and micro businesses. Responses were also received from:

  • education and training providers
  • representative groups
  • professional bodies
  • charities
  • local government
  • awarding organisations
  • individuals

Original consultation


We’re asking for views on how we will issue funding for apprenticeships through employers.

This consultation ran from

Consultation description

We want to know your views on how we will issue funding for apprenticeships directly to employers.

We want the standards of all apprenticeships to be raised to the level of the best, by making them more rigorous and more responsive to the needs of employers, so they can grow and compete.

Our reforms announced in the Future of Apprenticeships in England: Implementation Plan last October are giving employers more control over the design of apprenticeships and their assessment. The first new apprenticeship standards, developed by employer-led trailblazers, have been endorsed and published on the Apprenticeships website. We expect the first apprenticeships, based on the new standards, to start in the 2014 to 2015 academic year.

Giving employers direct control over the funding of the external training and assessment of their apprentices will give them more influence to improve its quality and relevance. Building on the results of the funding consultation last summer and the funding principles announced in the Autumn Statement, this consultation sets out a core model that could be implemented either through PAYE or an Apprenticeship Credit, and seeks views on these two payment mechanism options.

We have launched a second phase of trailblazers involving leading employers in 29 sectors. A full list of these groups, as well as lessons learned and templates from the first phase, are included in our updated guidance for trailblazers.


Published 6 March 2014
Last updated 13 January 2015 + show all updates
  1. An independent summary of responses, and the government response published.
  2. Interim final outcome added
  3. First published.