Jul 16

Apprenticeships are changing

Posted: 22 July 2016

Pete Barron, Project Manager leading on the New Apprenticeship Standards updates us on the new changes. 

We have just had confirmation from the government’s Apprenticeship Directorate that the assessment plans for the new Apprenticeship Standards for Adult Care Worker and Lead Adult Care Worker have been approved and the funding band assigned. The assessment plans are now published on the government website alongside the standards.

The Standards set out the competencies for these occupations and the assessment plans describe the method by which those competencies will be assessed.

It also means that the government has decided that the maximum that can be charged to deliver these new Apprenticeship Standards is £3,000. This will be made up of a proportion of funding from the government and a cash contribution from the employer in the ratio of 2:1.

The price for the delivery of the new Apprenticeship Standards is negotiable with learning providers but the funding cap of £3,000 sets the upper limit.

Employers must also now make their contribution in cash terms and ‘in-kind’ payment to learning providers is no longer acceptable. 

This announcement is timely as it coincides with the publication of the government’s Post 16 Skills Plan which proposes that young people are given a choice from two pathways at the age of 16, an academic one leading to A-levels and university, and a technical route with vocational learning and qualifications based on the new Apprenticeship Standards.

Social Care is one of the 15 technical routes proposed by the government. This is positive news for the adult social care sector as we work to improve the visibility of career pathways for young people in particular.

Even though the new Apprenticeship Standards and their assessment plans have been published, there are a lot of practicalities to put in place before it makes sense to register new apprentices on the standards. In the meantime and until further notice from government, the existing frameworks will carry on as before and will be funded as before.

Currently, an employer would not be able to select an end-point assessment organisation for these standards as government will only open applications now the assessment plan is published. Once they have been selected, they will begin the process of designing the actual end-point tests. Finally, the care employers on the Trailblazer group are setting up an external quality assurance system, as is required by government.

And then, of course, the funding system is due to change again in April 2017 with the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy, the new Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. We will keep you informed and will also run a series of workshops about the new standards so keep watching this space!