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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/skills-funding-agency-business-update/business-update-issue-40-january-2019
1. Apprenticeship service update
1.1 Inform: providers to create apprenticeship cohorts on employers’ behalf
Employers will soon be able to give training providers permission to create cohorts on their behalf in their apprenticeship service account, as part of on-going improvements.
Employers who wish to give permission to their provider to create a cohort will need to discuss this with their provider offline first. Training providers should access the new ‘Create cohort’ area of the service to choose an employer to create a cohort for. Only employers that have given permission will be listed.
When employers access the service they should click on the ‘Add training provider’ area and add their provider’s UK Provider Reference Number (UKPRN) to complete the confirmation. Employers will still need to approve the cohort and apprentice details before the apprentices go live.
For more information please contact the National Apprenticeship Service on 08000 150600 or email the helpdesk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1.2 Inform: new minimum wages from 1 April 2019
The National Minimum Wage and National Minimum Wage for apprentices will increase from 1 April 2019. From January 2019 we will start to update Recruit an apprentice and Find an apprenticeship in preparation for the increase.
We will review all existing vacancies and make changes where necessary, to ensure that any vacancies with a planned start date after 1 April 2019 will meet the new minimum wage requirements. We will advise employers if a change is made to their vacancy so that they can check the details.
Employers can choose to increase the apprentice’s salary above the minimum wage by editing the vacancy through Recruit an apprentice.
Employers with queries, please contact: 0800 015 0600. You can find out about call charges.
2. Apprenticeship Levy survey
The government announced during conference plans to engage with business and providers on the long-term operation of the levy.
In the coming weeks, as part of this engagement, we will be sending out a short survey to apprenticeship employers and providers. This will offer an opportunity to comment on how employers have responded to the introduction of the levy, and how we can help develop demand for, and provision of, apprenticeships.
In the meantime, we have set up an additional mailbox where we encourage employers to share their thoughts and feedback. Please email email@example.com.
3. National Apprenticeship Week 2019 theme announced
Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton announced the theme for the 12th annual National Apprenticeship Week in December. The theme - ‘Blaze a Trail’ – linking to the exciting new apprenticeship campaign, launching in January.
Taking place from 4 to 8 March 2019. National Apprenticeship Week, will highlight the benefits of apprenticeships to employers, individuals, local communities and the economy.
As in previous years, National Apprenticeship Week will see a range of activities and events being hosted across the country, changing perceptions on apprenticeships and who considers them, whilst encouraging people of all ages and backgrounds to apply.
During National Apprenticeship Week 2018 there were over 780 events across the country. We would like to increase this number in 2019, so please do get involved to help showcase the work you are doing to support high quality apprenticeships across the country. For events already planned, please share information on our events form and we’ll ensure it appears on the National Apprenticeship Week 2019 events map. This will maximise exposure to your events ahead of the Week. For those events open to the public, we will promote these across our social media channels, allowing thousands more to hear about your event and to help with securing more attendees.
More information, including a toolkit, will be made available in January. Follow @Apprenticeships on Twitter and the National Apprenticeship Service on LinkedIn to keep up to date with announcements as they are made.
4. New national apprenticeship campaign to launch in 2019
A new national apprenticeship campaign is launching this month.
Part of the new campaign will be encouraging employers to post live and future apprenticeship vacancies on Find an Apprenticeship from mid-January. The campaign will direct traffic to look at live apprenticeships vacancies to stimulate interest and encourage applications.
National Apprenticeship Week 2019 will also use the new campaign messaging and content over the course of the Week.
More information will be shared in the New Year, with a toolkit, branding and resources made available for employers to use, on GOV.UK. Follow @Apprenticeships on Twitter and the National Apprenticeship Service on LinkedIn to keep up to date with announcements as they are made.
5. Apprenticeship off the job training guidance published
Guidance has been published outlining how employers and training providers should meet the 20% off-the-job training requirement for apprentices.
The guidance includes policy, background information and some best practice examples.