Apprenticeships

The New Apprenticeship Standard

Apprenticeships in England are in the process of undergoing a dramatic transformation. As a result of Government reforms, a new style of apprenticeships has been designed to meet the changing needs of employers, learners and providers.

The New Apprenticeship Standard aims to:

  • Give employers control in designing apprenticeships, ensuring that apprenticeships are high quality and rigorous and develop the knowledge, skills and behaviour required for a specific job role
  • Increase the flexibility of delivery
  • Simplify the funding system
  • Increase the effectiveness of training
  • Define an apprenticeship that lasts a minimum of 12 months
  • Be linked to a specific occupational level
  • Respond to employers' needs, Be designed to prepare the apprentice for the (newly introduced) end-point assessment

End-point assessment is being introduced as the main assessment method for Apprenticeships. It replaces the model of continuous assessment and qualifications.

Once an apprentice has completed their apprenticeship, they will be 'signed off' by their employer as ready for end-point assessment of their knowledge and practical capabilities. In most cases, the assessment will be graded and must show the apprentice is fully competent and productive in the occupation.

The registered assessment organisation and the assessor must be independent of, and separate from, the training provided by the provider and employer.

This new model separates training delivery and assessment. It allows employers and providers to focus on training and learning and helps the apprentice gain the maximum possible experience before they are assessed.


Our Apprenticeship Delivery

  • Network Construction Operations - Gas
  • Network Construction Operations - Water
  • Sewerage and Drainage Operations
  • Highways Maintenance
  • Cable Jointing
  • Overhead Lines
  • Subststion Fitting
  • Business Administration
  • Customer Service
Assessment and Verification

All knowledge and understanding assessments will be carried out during attendance on formal training. Arrangements will be made to assess learners in the workplace during on site periods.

Competence assessments will be undertaken in the workshop with real life scenarios which must be accomplished to the required national standard

Observation of Behaviours and Skills

Apprentices work in an environment where their safety, the safety of those around them and the equipment they work on are of paramount importance. Therefore, observation of behaviours and approach are an integral and developing part of the apprentice progression throughout the apprenticeship and should be assessed using existing supervisory practice and as part of the on-going assessment.

End-point Assessment

Successful achievement of the end-point assessment will lead to final certification of the apprenticeship and demonstrate that the apprentice is a fully competent in their occupational job role; who can work safely and confidently. Apprentices should only be considered for end point assessment when they have completed their on-programme portfolio and achieved a pass in their knowledge assessment or current legacy qualification and have achieved the required behavioural standard. The process utilises the following assessment tools:

  • Industry context 'Trade Test'
  • Technical Interview
  • Behaviour and Progress Final Assessment.
Industry context 'Trade Test'

'Trade Test' assessments will take place during the final six month period of the apprenticeship and are designed to provide each apprentice with an opportunity to demonstrate the skills, knowledge, and behaviours required by the occupational job role

The number and type of assessments contained in the trade test will depend on the occupational job role. The assessments undertaken will be designed to test the most complex tasks required in the chosen occupational job role. A technical expert will administer and mark the final trade test assessments. They will be graded fail or pass.

Technical Interview

Following successful completion of the trade test assessments and during the final month of the apprenticeship, the apprentice will undertake a 'technical interview', conducted by an industry technical expert who has not been involved in the apprentice's trade test. They will assess the technical knowledge of the apprentice against the knowledge requirements of the standard for their occupational job role. Based on the findings of the technical interview, the apprentice will be awarded a 'company authorisation'. Apprentices must successfully receive a 'company authorisation' to gain a pass in the apprenticeship.


The Apprenticeship Levy

Background

The Apprenticeship Levy will be a levy on UK employers to fund new apprenticeships. In England, control of apprenticeship funding will be put in the hands of employers through the Digital Apprenticeship Service. The levy will be charged at a rate of 0.5% of an employer's paybill. Each employer will receive an allowance of £15,000 to offset against their levy payment. It will be introduced in April 2017.

This will affect employers in all sectors. The levy will only be paid on annual paybills in excess of £3 million, and so less than 2% of UK employers will pay it.


Policy objective

The government is committed to boosting productivity by investing in human capital. As part of this, the government is committed to developing vocational skills, and to increasing the quantity and quality of apprenticeships. It has committed to an additional 3 million apprenticeship starts in England by 2020. The levy will help to deliver new apprenticeships and it will support quality training by putting employers at the centre of the system. Employers who are committed to training will be able to get back more than they put in by training sufficient numbers of apprentices.


Summary
  1. The apprenticeship levy will come into effect in April 2017. It will be payable by employers in the UK at 0.5% of paybill.
  2. All employers will receive an allowance of £15,000 to offset against payment of the levy. This effectively means that the levy will only be payable on paybill in excess of £3 million per year.
  3. The levy will be payable through Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and will be payable alongside income tax and National Insurance
  4. Each employer will receive one allowance to offset against their levy payment. There will be a connected persons rule, similar to the Employment Allowance connected persons rule, so employers who operate multiple payrolls will only be able to claim one allowance.
  5. The levy will apply to employers across all sectors.
  6. Paybill will be calculated based on total employee earnings; it will not include other payments such as benefits in kind. It will apply to total employee earnings in respect of all employees
  7. Legislation to permit the imposition and collection of the apprenticeship levy will be introduced in the Finance Bill 2016.


Next Steps

We are here to help with your apprenticeship training demand and we would be delighted to hear from you, please contact us 0161 776 4186 for more information on training and the 'Levy', or email Steve Hyde