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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/skills-funding-agency-business-update/business-update-issue-24-august-2017
1. Exam results 2017
As young people receive A Level and GCSE results on 17 and 24 August, now is an ideal time for employers to consider how they might maximise the apprenticeship funding available to them, either through the apprenticeship levy or government co-investment, to benefit their business and their sector.
We have also created a toolkit to support employers looking to recruit into apprenticeship positions, with apprenticeship messaging, media and social media content and key information to promote your apprenticeship vacancies, through recruit an apprentice.
A second toolkit aimed at young people, careers advisers and parents is also available, sharing the benefits of apprenticeships and how to find and apply for apprenticeship opportunities.
Please share links to these toolkits through your networks.
2. Apprenticeship service updates
Since the introduction of the levy and launch of the apprenticeship service thousands of levy paying employers have set up an account, enabling their training providers to get paid.
The service is constantly evolving following user research and feedback and recent new features include:
- employers can now set the priority order in which their providers are paid
- providers and employers can see on-screen alerts if any information needs to be amended before payments can be made
- daily email notifications if things need to be reviewed and actioned
- employers can remove an organisation from their account
We would encourage employers to use the in-service feedback buttons to provide feedback so we can continue to develop the service further.
If you are non-levy paying employer, guidance is available on the steps you need to take to recruit an apprentice.
Help and support
Call the National Contact Centre helpline on 08000 150 600 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Update on procurement for non-levy paying employers
We have launched a new procurement exercise for apprenticeship training to non-levy paying employers.
The new procurement will ensure we achieve the best value for employers, providers and apprentices in the move to a fully employer-led system. Above all it is vital that we can deliver a high-quality provider system that means non-levy-paying employers can be sure that the apprenticeship training they get will meet their needs.
We have produced a narrated presentation which explains the critical differences between the new procurement and the old one.
New contracts awarded as a result of this procurement will run from January 2018 to March 2019. By April 2019 we aim to bring all employers onto the apprenticeship service.
This procurement will not affect training provision for existing learners. We have extended contracts for training providers until December 2017 so employers can be confident in taking on new apprentices without disruption over the months ahead.
While the new procurement exercise is open, the register of apprenticeship training providers will not re-open for new applications.
4. Amendments to apprenticeship framework funding bands
We have published an updated version of the apprenticeship frameworks: funding bands from May 2017 document.
We are revising 29 funding bands for framework pathways to ensure providers can deliver quality training and employers are getting value for money.
- 26 funding bands are increasing and the new funding band will be applied for new starts from 1 August 2017
- 3 funding bands are decreasing and the new funding band will be applied for new starts from 1 October 2017
A list of the amendments are detailed in this document.
We will update the Learning Aims Search on the Hub in the week commencing Monday, 7 August with the new funding bands.
For further information, please contact the service desk.
5. First degree apprentices graduate from Aston University
The first cohort of Degree apprentices in the UK graduated from Aston University on Monday 17 July. Eleven Degree apprentices from Capgemini were awarded Bachelors of Science (BSc’s) in Digital and Technology Solutions, following 3 years of working at Capgemini combined with study.
64% of apprentices from Capgemini achieved a 1st class honours degree and all others received 2nd class honours degrees. Read more about their success on GOV.UK.
6. HSBC extend student account to higher and Degree apprentices
HSBC has become the first UK bank to open its student account to higher level apprentices ahead of the new academic year. As well as undergraduates heading to university this autumn, young people enrolling higher apprenticeships will also be able to apply for HSBC’s student bank account.
The opportunities open to apprentices are growing – from the sectors they can work in, to the job roles available – and added benefits, like access to student accounts is making the apprenticeship offer even more appealing to potential apprentices.