Key priorities for apprenticeship funding in England
Oct 21

Key priorities for apprenticeship funding in England

This conference will consider key priorities for apprenticeship funding in England.


This conference will consider key priorities for apprenticeship funding in England.

  • The agenda will bring out latest thinking on:

    • immediate priorities for apprenticeship funding in the wake of the pandemic
    • the Flexi-Job Apprenticeship scheme and supporting short-term roles in key sectors
    • priorities for increasing business participation
    • the future for apprenticeship funding bands

    It comes with the IfATE examining a proposed new model for apprenticeship funding band recommendations, as well as the Government’s plans for Flexi-Job Apprenticeships, which were introduced in the Budget.

    The conference will also be an opportunity to discuss wider developments affecting apprenticeships in England, including:

    • the Skills for Jobs white paper, which is to be implemented in the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill, and includes £2.5bn to support apprenticeships in 2021-2022
    • the apprenticeship incentive scheme, designed to support workforce investment
    • recent calls for the introduction of a more flexible apprenticeship levy

    We are pleased to be able to include keynote sessions with Jonathan Childs, Deputy Director, Apprenticeships Covid-19 Recovery Team, Education and Skills Funding Agency, Department for Education; and Jane Pierce, Head of Technical Education Quality Assurance, Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education - along with contributions from The 5% Club; Cass Business School, City University of London; the CBI; the Institute for Employment Studies; Make UK; and ScreenSkills.

    The agenda

    • Policy priorities and next steps for apprenticeship funding
    • Apprenticeship funding in the wake of the pandemic - securing funding for sectors and industries critical for recovery, meeting regional needs and skills shortages, and supporting SMEs
    • Flexi-job apprenticeships - supporting short-term roles in key sectors, enabling portability between employers, and impact on funding arrangements
    • Increasing business participation in apprenticeships - reducing bureaucracy and simplifying the system, reforming funding bands, and next steps for the levy and the pledge function
    • The future for apprenticeship funding bands - transparency, value for money, coherence, and outlook for implementing the new model

    Relevant developments:

    Consultation on changes to funding recommendation - by the IfATE:

    • examining a proposed new model for apprenticeship funding band recommendations
    • with respondents concerned over a possible reduction in funding levels and the final consultation response is due to be published in Summer 2021

    Flexi-Job Apprenticeships:

    • designed to allow work across multiple projects and employers, particularly in sectors such as construction, agriculture, and the creative industries
    • introduced in the budget, supported by funding of £7m, with the first flexi-job apprenticeships set to begin in January 2022

    Skills for jobs: lifelong learning for opportunity and growth - the white paper to be implemented in the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill, which includes:

    • £2.5bn support for apprenticeships in 2021-22, including for employers who do not pay the levy, to help SMEs take on apprentices
    • opportunities for large employers to pledge and transfer funds to smaller employers, as well as streamline matches between employers

    Cash boost for apprenticeships launched:

    • the newly opened apprenticeship incentive scheme announced in the Budget and designed to incentivise workforce investment
    • allowing for employers to claim £3000 for each new apprentice hired as a new employee until the 30th September 2021

    Seize the Moment:

    • the CBI report on post-COVID economic strategy identifying the need for a flexible and highly-skilled workforce
    • including a recommendation to replace the Apprenticeship Levy with a Learning for Life skills levy, incentivising firms to spend all funds and provide wider opportunities

    Report of the Workplace Training and Development Commission - the report from the Commission, set up by the British Chambers of Commerce, calling for:

    • an employer-led apprenticeship system, with flexible access to individual accredited modules
    • wider training to allow employers to utilise levy funds and meet skills needs

    • CIPD Apprenticeship Levy assessment - the Institute urging the Government to reform the Apprenticeship Levy to develop a more flexible system, allowing employers to increase workforce investment, and better contribute to both the Skills for Jobs reforms and wider national recovery

    Key areas for discussion:

    Apprenticeship funding in the wake of the pandemic:

    key sectors and industries - assessing key issues and the state of play for funding for apprenticeships in sectors such as:

    • construction
    • emerging technologies
    • healthcare
    • those supporting high street recovery, as well as others critical for post-pandemic regeneration

    regional needs:

    • priorities for supporting skills development in local areas
    • ensuring apprenticeship funding is geared towards local needs
    • supporting upskilling amongst those in risk of being left behind
    • SMEs - what support is needed to help SMEs take on apprentices, and assessing the likely impact of recent policy developments such as the Skills for Jobs white paper and the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill, as well as the apprenticeship incentive scheme

    Flexi-job Apprenticeships:

    key sectors:

    • evaluating where flexible apprenticeships can provide the most benefit
    • harnessing the scheme to combat skills shortages and supply freelance workers, such as in creative sectors
    • portability - future arrangements to facilitate the movement of apprentices within a sector, and priorities for employer-agency cooperation
    • welfare - responding to concerns about apprentices on the scheme, and including the options for action and coordination between employers and training providers on support and pastoral care

    Increasing business participation:

    bureaucracy and transparency - discussing the administrative pressures of the levy and providing clarity to employers, including:

    • the need to balance accountability with employer trust
    • options for:
    • reducing focus on documentation
    • flexible time and skills requirements
    • streamlining and simplifying the Levy process and easing bureaucratic pressure on SMEs
    • encouraging more employers to take advantage of Levy funding

    Next steps for the levy:

    spending levy funds - discussion of the possibilities and opportunities for greater flexibility in how and where levy funds can be spent, including:

    • the transfer of unused funds
    • options for expansion to cover wider skills and training for both new and existing employees
    • value for money - discussion around the value of the levy, including:
    • strategies for encouraging businesses to take advantage of funds to invest in apprenticeships and workforce training
    • ways to try to ensure levy funds are benefitting those most in need
    • options for widening access to opportunities to upskill
    • coordination with wider efforts to support social mobility, and the Government’s ‘Levelling Up’ agenda
    • priorities for reform:
    • the outlook for new funding models and changes to the levy
    • looking at options for wider, more flexible schemes that allow employers to improve productivity through proactive investment in apprenticeships and other forms of skills and workforce development

    Reforming funding bands:

    • the IfTAE review - progress following recent consultations, priorities for changes to apprenticeship funding bands, as well as consideration of the effects of the proposed variable element in the model
    • communicating with stakeholders - ensuring that the proposed models provide clarity and transparency on funding decisions to employers, and priorities for employer engagement with the process
    • possible reductions in funding - addressing concerns, and wider discussion around setting funding levels that support the delivery of high quality training

    Policy officials attending:

    Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.

    Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government and regulatory officials involved in this area of policy, as well as from business associations, charities and community groups, employers, training and learning providers, universities, further education colleges, schools and academies, consultancies, employment lawyers, local authorities, trade associations and chartered bodies, trade unions, think tanks and academics together with reporters from the national and specialist media.

    This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

    • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording and transcript to refer back to
    • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
    • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
    • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
    • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
    • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
    • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
    • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

    Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

  • Category
    Conferences & Events
  • Date & Time
    Oct 21 2021 at 09:00 AM - Oct 21 2021 at 01:00 PM
  • Location & full address
  • Event Admins
    Westminster Forum Projects (WFP)

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