The BPIF has flagged up changes to funding rules for apprenticeships. The key impacts are as follows:
- Further clarification around off-the-job training which also includes an example of how the ESFA expect this to be calculated. This discounts any period of annual leave including bank holidays, so 20% is now in reality at least 22-23%, with any training for maths and English on top.
- Apprentices not being asked to contribute to the direct cost of an apprenticeship includes where they have left or completed the programme.
- Employer delivery is allowed through a subcontract, but clear message is that it must be at cost.
- Updated eligible and ineligible costs.
- Levy transfer: one area not particularly well publicised is that "employers who pay the apprenticeship levy will be able to fund apprenticeships in one other organisation through a transfer." The BPIF understands that this restriction of transferring to only one rather than multiple employers is a short-term restriction and hopefully from the new academic year it will be relaxed.
- The apprenticeship rate of pay is only applicable once an individual starts their apprenticeship programme and not before. There is no longer a need for further learning in order to retake a mandatory qualification or an end point assessment but if required the cost of additional learning can be included.
- The apprentice must still be employed until the end point assessment is completed (unless redundancy applies).
- Confirmation that levy transfers are subject to state aid regulations.