A review of apprenticeships in 2012 by the Government led to a report that recommended the design of apprenticeship programmes in the future should be put into the hands of key industry employers. Those changes are now well underway.

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How are apprenticeships changing?

The main change is around how apprenticeships are created and funded. Learning providers (mainly local colleges and private training providers) and employers now work closely together to develop new standards. 

If your annual pay bill is more than £3 million, you will also have to contribute a 0.5% levy which will go towards funding apprenticeships in the UK. You will receive a £15,000 allowance to offset against your payment.

Learn more about the apprenticeship levy in our guide:

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The move from frameworks to standards

Older apprenticeships use a framework (called SASE frameworks) to ensure quality of delivery. New apprenticeship standards are now replacing the old SASE frameworks.

These new standards will:

  • define an apprenticeship that lasts a minimum of 12 months
  • be linked to a specific occupational level
  • respond to employers’ needs, ensuring that apprenticeships are high quality and rigorous and develop the knowledge, skills and behaviour required for a specific job role
  • be designed to prepare the apprentice for the (newly introduced) end-point assessment.

The standards are being created by groups of employers or ‘trailblazer groups’. Not all occupations have new standards yet but many are imminent. 

Learn more about the apprenticeship reforms in our guide:

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"Around the world, apprenticeships have long been recognised as a crucial way to develop the skills wanted by employers.That is why the Government will increase the quality and quantity of apprenticeships in England, reaching three million starts in 2020. " English Apprenticeships: Our 2020 Vision