A new funding model for apprenticeships…Posted: 19th of March 2015 by
The Government has not yet finalised the funding plans for apprenticeships, but it is looking likely that employers will be expected to contribute to the funding costs of their apprentices to the amount of a third of the total.
Employers wanting to offer apprenticeships will also have to register to receive an ‘entitlement to funding’.
Noel Johnson, Director of Prospects Training has raised concerns that asking employers to contribute financially to the costs might have a detrimental effect on the number of apprenticeships offered by small and medium sized businesses that may not have the cash flow to support this.
Other concerns have been raised regarding the impact of employers’ purchasing power, as they will have a say in how the money is spent. The concern is that employers might be more interested in their own company needs, at the expense of the wider sector needs.
Added to this is the concern that employers providing a third of the funding might lead to them encouraging the development of skills, specific to their individual company and therefore not necessarily transferable, which is one of the five principles of apprenticeships outlined in the education select committee’s evidence report last month.
Currently the Government pays 100% of the funding for 16 – 18 year old apprentices and 50% of the funding for 19 – 23 year olds and employers pay the apprentice’s wages. There is some concern that the new funding model fails to recognise the existing input of employers, who often pay more that minimum wage to their apprentices, provide tools and often can suffer a loss as apprentices make mistakes whilst they are learning.
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