Since May 2017 and the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy, Apprenticeships have fundamentally changed. The key structural changes are as follows:
- Employers have to pay a mandatory contribution equal to 10% of the total cost of the Apprenticeship. If your payroll is greater than £3 million pa, you will pay the Levy and your 10% contribution will be taken from your Levy account. If your payroll is less than £3 million, you have to pay a non-refundable cash contribution.
- A principal condition of Apprenticeship funding is that an Apprentice spends at least 20% of their weekly contracted hours undertaking off the job training. This is only for the vocational element and additional hours will be required if the employee has to complete the English and maths qualifications.
- This 20% is non-negotiable – if at the outset a training provider and employer cannot put in place a training plan which will achieve the hours, then the employee is not eligible for funding. Progress towards the 20% hours has to be monitored regularly, and if the employee is falling behind against the target hours, then you risk them having to come off the programme.
- For an employee on a 37.5 hour per week contract, a 15 month Apprenticeship programme requires a minimum of 403 hours vocational Off the Job training. That is at least 403 hours when they are not available to carry out the duties they are employed for.
- Off the Job Training is a key focus for Ofsted during their inspection process, and a training provider can be marked down significantly if learners are not making good progress towards their targeted hours.
- An Apprenticeship now has 2 distinct parts. Part 1 is called the on-programme element which is where the employee studies for the Care Certificate, Diploma in Care, English and maths Functional Skills. Once these have all been achieved, the employee moves into the End Point Assessment (EPA) process. EPA is a quality assurance process run by a third party during which the Apprentice undertakes a multiple choice assessment and professional discussion.
The Off the Job requirement is a big hurdle for many Care organisations to get around. For many it is just not operationally possible to lose a front line member of staff for the equivalent of a day a week, and there are significant overhead costs involved in finding cover for the 20%.
We have a competitively priced Diploma only training programme at levels 2, 3, and 5, payable in monthly instalments, which allows your staff to become Care Diploma qualified in a way that eliminates the 20% requirement, with a flexible programme of delivery that suits the needs of your organisation.