Small employers can access all providers

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Small employers in the UK can now provide digital marketing apprenticeships but for only 3 apprentices

Updated rules by the Education andESFA logo Skills Funding Agency now allows non-levy paying employees. This rule will see the number of providers with direct access funding for non-levy payers double.

Non-levy paying employers for apprenticeships will now be able to access training for apprentices. Through a provider with a government contract or the apprenticeship service.

Employers who do not pay the levy for apprenticeships can benefit from reserving funding for an apprenticeship. Prior to recruitment or an offer of an apprenticeship to an employee, the funds can be reserved.

To ensure that employers can plan in advance that the funds will be available to pay for starting apprenticeships. Employers can reserve their funds to prepare for new apprentices

After reservation, employers must have a commitment to the apprentice once the training provider and the apprentice are confirmed. At this stage, the funds will be released and available to use by the training provider in the normal way.

To ensure the programme remains affordable by employers, the ESFA will initially allow employers to make reservations for only three apprenticeships at the start.

“Given the current funding challenges within the levy system, this is a sensible approach”, stated the chief policy officer of the AELP Simon Ashworth. He welcomed the new transition.

“The good news is that providers without a contract will finally be able to access the market which means that more SMEs, especially in niche sectors and rural areas, should be able to start offering apprenticeships again.”

Projections in 2018 by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education have predicted that the levy could be overspent by up £1.5 billion by 2021 or 2022.

The National Audit Office then expressed concern about the financial sustainability of the apprenticeship system, before the Department of Education’s top civil servant warned of “hard choices” that needed to be made.

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