This Wednesday (21st March) the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) updated the funding bands for existing apprenticeship frameworks and apprenticeship standards.
In a statement on GOV.UK, the ESFA said:
“The Department for Education is reviewing the effectiveness of the current funding band structure. When we moved to 15 funding bands, we expected to see employers and providers negotiating on price below the funding band upper limit. However, this hasn’t materialised across all of the market, with many employers telling us that they do not feel able to negotiate with providers. We are therefore considering changes to incentivise negotiation and drive better value for money.
“This includes considering alternative structures for apprenticeship funding, although the maximum funding will remain at £27,000. Any new structure would apply to new starts from August 2018; we will confirm any changes in Spring 2018. If there are changes to the structure, we will work with the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) to ensure that any new standards that are approved for delivery are allocated to both one of the 15 current funding bands and to a new, post-August funding band.
“As part of their agreed responsibilities, we have also asked the IfA to review an initial batch of existing published standards and to identify where they should sit in a new funding band structure. All other existing standards will be reviewed as part of the IfA’s standard review process.
“We welcome any views on these changes. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Updated funding for all listed apprenticeship standards will apply to all apprenticeship starts from 1st May 2017. These apprenticeships have an approved assessment plan and are ready for employers and training organisations to use.
Updated funding for all listed frameworks will apply to existing apprenticeship frameworks from 12th February 2018.