Employers offered new apprenticeship funding powers

Employers are set to gain more control over the funding which underpins apprenticeship training schemes.

As part of its response to the Future of Apprenticeships in England consultation, the Government has announced that it wants employers to have direct control over how apprenticeship training is paid for.

By handing more power to businesses, ministers said they will be in a better position to source training schemes which meet their specific skill requirements.

It is hoped that this will, in turn, enhance the quality of the country’s apprenticeship programmes.

However, the Government also said in its response that further work is needed to determine how employers will actually be given control over training funding in practice.

Ministers have said that they want the funding process to be designed in a straightforward way.

The Government’s decision to offer more freedom to employers in this area follows the launch of its Trailblazers initiative. This scheme aims to provide businesses with a greater say over the design of apprenticeships, with more than 1,000 employers taking part in it so far.

Commenting on the latest funding plans, Steve Radley, director of policy and strategy at the CITB, said he is pleased ministers have admitted that more design work is needed.

He said: “We are right behind the Government’s ambition to put employers in control of apprenticeship funding.

“However, our research with construction employers showed that the Government’s initial proposal was perceived as unattractive and difficult to work with for much of the industry.”

Mr Radley added that the CITB is now keen to collaborate with the Coalition, so that disruption to the training environment and administration can be minimised as far as possible.

He said: “The best way ahead is to give employers the option to self-manage or opt for a managed service facilitated by a third party. This would provide true employer choice and empowerment and put them in control.”

Nick Boles, the UK’s Minister for Skills, said apprenticeships continue to form a major part of the Government’s long-term plan for the economy.

He highlighted the fact that two million apprenticeship opportunities have now been created since 2010.

To read more, please click here: http://www.citb.co.uk/news-events/uk/employers-offered-new-apprenticeship-funding-powers/