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13 June 2022

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) have announced that a number of improvements and simplifications to apprenticeships will come into force from August 2022, which will be good news to the critics of the current system. 

Highlighting changes that have already been put in place in recent years, ESFA points out that employers have created more than 640 standards to meet their skills needs, training is being delivered by registered providers which are regularly inspected and apprentices now complete rigorous end-point assessment so that employers know they are fully competent in their role.

Minister for Skills, Alex Burghart, said: “We now want to focus on making the system as simple and user-friendly as possible, reducing bureaucratic burdens on employers and providers and giving apprentices the best possible experience.”

Improvements

With effect from August 2022, the system will, the Minister said, be:

  • simpler: apprentices will be able to cut out training they do not require and complete their apprenticeship more quickly. This means that they can spend more time in the workplace and will become fully competent sooner, boosting employer productivity and their own earnings potential

  • more consistent: the minimum number of hours that a full-time apprentice must spend in training will be specified. This will simplify the reporting for providers and create a level-playing field among apprentices who are on the same standard but working different hours. Those who work more than 30 hours a week will be able to spend more time on the job delivering for employers, while still getting the vital training they need

  • easier with regard to English and maths requirements: people who start an L2 apprenticeship without L1 English and maths will no longer need to automatically attempt L2 English and Maths tests to complete their apprenticeship. It will mean that thousands of L2 apprentices can focus on securing an L1 English and Maths qualification with only those who are really ready to take the Level 2 tests attempting them

  • more efficient: ESFA will provide a more efficient payment service for providers and will improve Apprenticeship Service financial reports, helping providers understand what they are being paid for each apprenticeship and why. It will also do more to ensure that all employers promptly receive their £1000 additional support payment if they take on an eligible young apprentice.

Further information