SMEs to Benefit From Access to the Apprenticeship Service
From today, the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is expanding access to the apprenticeship service to employers who are not one of the existing 22,000 levy-payers using the service already. This will be of enormous benefit to SMEs connecting with apprenticeships across England.
Non-levy payers will now have greater ownership, visibility and involvement with apprenticeships, funding and access to a wider range of high-quality training providers. This will mean that SMEs – that form 99 per cent of the businesses in the UK – will be in greater control of the apprenticeships that they engage with.
The early transition – from now until March – will be an initial test phase, during which time we will undertake large scale testing, seeking feedback from smaller employers and training providers. During the transition in 2020, we will continue to run contracts with training providers so smaller employers have a choice around how they access apprenticeship funding, joining the apprenticeship service when they feel they are ready.
During the test phase, additional funding will be made available for up to 15,000 new starts through the service.
As we enable smaller employers to use the apprenticeship service, we are introducing the ability for them to reserve funds for training. We have published an updated version of the Funding Rules and new Reservations Policy Statement. This will allow us to forecast, monitor and manage apprenticeships funding within the overall budget for apprenticeships. To manage a gradual transition from contracted training provision to employers arranging their own apprenticeships through the apprenticeship service, employers will initially be able to reserve funding for up to three apprenticeships.
Autumn Statement: £3.8B Spending Package on “Skills Revolution”
Today’s Autumn Statement promises a £3.8B spending package on skills as part of the government’s “skills revolution” – a move aligned to its levelling up agenda, with the chancellor of the Exchequer stating: “Strengthening the skills of our people, the country’s greatest asset. That’s a real plan for growth.
Enginuity Ambassador Pride of the Nation
An inspirational award-winning young British engineer, dubbed the ‘Raducanu of Engineering’, has been praised for her role developing a robotic pharmaceutical testing system now on the health frontline.
Brain Games Block Brain Drains
Digital Brain games in the workplace are to be used to block a massive post-pandemic brain drain threatening UK industry, it has been announced.