ESFA weekly round-up - Issue 378

Education & Skills Funding Agency's weekly round-up of business-critical information to ESFA-funded colleges, other training organisations and direct grant employers. (1 Nov 2017)

ILR submission and payments requirements

Please ensure your individualised learner records (ILRs) are submitted as early as possible in the returns window and apprentice data is only submitted when it’s been matched and agreed with your employer (to prevent validation errors).

Submitting your ILRs early ensures ESFA can deal with your queries within their service level agreement period of 5 days before the claims window closes. Validation errors (which become apparent at month end) could impact on any expected payments.

Providers continue to submit their ILRs on the last day of the data submission period, or submit multiple files within the return window. As previously advised in Update, if providers continue to make late or multiple file submissions, ESFA may need to consider bringing forward the monthly ILR deadlines.

For help on ILR submissions contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. ESFA have also published information about how to submit an ILR data return, to help you when submitting your data.

Non-levy procurement: requests for further information

ESFA are currently in the process of validating tender submissions received as part of the procurement exercise for training provision to non-levy paying employers as set out in the Invitation To Tender.

ESFA would like to remind providers who submitted an application, to regularly check the Bravo system for any messages relating to their tender. ESFA may request further information through Bravo which providers will need to send them within a certain timeframe.

Flexible Learning Fund Open for bids

The Department for Education have launched the Flexible Learning Fund. The £10 million Fund is part of Government’s commitment to explore new approaches to lifelong learning for adults. The Fund is open from now until midnight on 31 January 2018 for applications for grant funding to develop and test flexible approaches to learning for adults. Grant support will be available until the end of March 2019.

Project proposals from providers of education and training with an Adult Education Budget allocation and/or Advanced Learner Loans facility agreement are actively encouraged.

Full details of the Fund, including how to apply, can be found at Flexible Learning Fund.

ESFA Learner Satisfaction Survey 2017 to 2018

Ensure your learners have their say in the ESFA Learner Satisfaction Survey, which runs from 30 October 2017 to 4 May 2018.

As requested in the letters ESFA have sent, please let them know through the Provider Extranet, that you can access the survey and who in your organisation ESFA can speak to about the survey.


 Business Update - Issue 27

Apprenticeship service update and feedback

Since the launch of the apprenticeship service thousands of employers have successfully used it to plan and support their apprenticeship programmes.

If you are a levy-paying employer, you can set up an account to manage your apprentices, choose a training provider and then make payments to them for the training they deliver.

We’re always looking at ways to improve the service so we encourage all employers to use the in-service feedback buttons, which you can find throughout the service. We have already delivered enhancements to the service from feedback we have received. For example, employers and providers are now able to search for apprentices in their account simply by inputting an apprentice’s name. Providers are also able to do a search by using an apprentice’s unique learner number.

Feedback from non-levy paying employers

If you’re not a levy-paying employer, you won’t be able to register for an apprenticeship service account until April 2019 but you can use other parts of the service on GOV.UK to help you plan your apprenticeship programme right now. All employers can use the service to estimate how much an apprenticeship may cost and to find the right apprenticeship training and training provider to deliver it.

We would like to gather views from employers that do not pay the levy, in particular, we want to find out about your needs for apprenticeship training and what services you would like to see in an online apprenticeship service. If you are an employer who doesn’t pay the apprenticeship levy, please let us have your views by completing our short survey.

Register of apprenticeship training providers: deadline for applications extended

The register of apprenticeship training providers opened for applications on 25 September and was due to close on 27 October 2017. We have extended the deadline by a short period and the register will now close for applications at 5pm on Friday, 3 November 2017.

This will be the final time the register opens before we review the register to ensure that it continues to offer employers confidence that those listed can deliver the highest quality apprenticeship training. We have extended the deadline to ensure that all new providers that want to join have an opportunity to do so.

If you have already made an application to this third opening, your application will be unaffected by this extension, you can still review and make any changes up until the new closing date. If you are already listed on the apprenticeship register you do not need to take any action.

Oyster card for apprentices

Apprentices aged 18, or over, living in a London borough and in the first year of an approved apprenticeship may be eligible for an Apprentice Oyster photocard – offering up to 30% off adult-rate Travelcards and Bus & Tram Pass season tickets.

More information can be found on the Transport for London website.

National Apprenticeship Awards 2017 – regional winners announced

Winners in the National Apprenticeship Awards 2017 regional heats were announced at six ceremonies held during October. In the next stage of the process, national finalists will be announced in early December, before national winners are announced at a ceremony in London on 18th January.

Find out about winners in your region by visiting GOV.UK.

National Apprenticeship Week 2018 – date announced

National Apprenticeship Week 2018 will take place from 5 to 9 March 2018. Themes for the week will be announced in due course. Please follow @Apprenticeships on Twitter; National Apprenticeship Service on LinkedIn and visit GOV.UK for announcements being made.

Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network

The Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network, chaired by Helen Grant MP, champions apprenticeships and diversity amongst employers and encourages more people from underrepresented groups, including those with disabilities, women and members of the black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities, to consider apprenticeships.

The network is looking to grow the number of its member. If you are interested in joining, find out more on GOV.UK.

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Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

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