apprenticeshipslogo.jpgPost-election, the government has pledged to create 3 million new Apprenticeship starts by 2020 – so it’s no surprise then that apprenticeships have grown in stature and become a focal point for education moving forward.

National Apprenticeship Week runs from March 14th -18th and marks a nationwide celebration of the brilliant opportunities and advantages which individuals and businesses can benefit from, no matter which industry sector you’re from.

An apprenticeship can take you anywhere’ – National Apprenticeship Week 2016

It is proposed by the government that they will improve recognition and quality of apprenticeship programmes and to achieve this by involving employers more heavily in the process and giving them control over the content of apprenticeships, the standards set and the funding available.

The hope is that this new delivery of apprenticeships will ensure that learners are suitably prepared for employment whilst also ensuring that employers’ needs are met in terms of skills gaps.

National Apprenticeship Week (NAW2016) is co-ordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service and is designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider community.

The aim of this week is to highlight what apprenticeships can do for smaller and medium sized businesses and encourage them to take on apprentices to promote the range and breadth of apprenticeships on offer, including those at higher level and within blue chip companies.

Last year, 23,000 apprenticeship vacancies were pledged in a record-breaking week.

Sue Husband, Director of the National Apprenticeship Service commented,

“Last year’s National Apprenticeship Week saw some tremendous achievements, but i want next year’s National Apprenticeship Week to be the best yet. I am looking forward to once again raising the profile of apprenticeships and traineeships and celebrating the important role they play in equipping people of all ages with the skills that they need to prosper in their lives.”

The Long Term Plan

Moving forward, the government has proposed a restructuring to allow Apprenticeships to become a true alternative to the university path for students.

Currently, the majority of apprenticeships are at an intermediate (Level 2) or advanced (Level 3) level, so the government’s proposal indicates we could see more Higher Apprenticeships (Level 4 and above, or degree level) come into place.

This coincides with the government wanting apprenticeships to provide “substantive training in a professional or technical route”, aligning with its attempt to rebrand vocational education as ‘technical and professional’ education.

Funding

A key talking point since the governments Summer Budget last year has been the application of the Apprenticeship Levy. Completely changing the face of how apprenticeships are funded, this could ease pressure on Further Education providers by placing the spending power in the hands of employers.

The Apprenticeship Levy rate will be set at 0.5%, and is expected to raise £3 billion by 2019-2020 and whilst the levy applies only to businesses whose payroll costs exceed £3 million; this will be offset by a £15,000 allowance for each business contributing to the levy.

However funding from the Apprenticeship Levy won’t be “phased in” until April 2017, so until then, it’s expected that providers should continue to fund Apprenticeship programmes through their existing Apprenticeship allocations.

The Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (AGE), which allocates £1500 to small businesses to support their first five apprentices, has been extended until the end of the 2016-2017 session.

What We Say

Training Qualifications UK firmly believes in the power of learning and that qualifications, no matter what they are and how they are achieved, open doors to various career paths. Apprenticeships are a great way to learn, earn and excel in vocational subjects.

TQUK has qualifications on an ever growing number of apprenticeship frameworks in the following areas:

For more information regarding the apprenticeships we have available, please contact us by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling the TQUK team on 03333 583344.