With the Apprenticeship Levy now underway, there are many changes to ensure that the same quality of Apprenticeships we have seen for many years will be continued, whilst the demand for Apprenticeships increases.
The Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) is an employer-led organisation that ensures the delivery of high-quality Apprenticeship standards and advises Government on funding levels for each standard.
The Institute for Apprenticeships is established by the Apprenticeship Skills and Learning Act 2009 and amended by the Enterprise Act 2016. The main functions are:
- Developing and maintaining quality criteria for the approval of Apprenticeship standards and their assessment plans.
- Supporting the development of Apprenticeship standards and their assessment plans by holding employer focus groups, reviewing then approving them.
- Publishing of approved Apprenticeship standards and their assessment plans.
- Advising on the maximum amount of Government funding that can be drawn down by employers through their chosen Apprenticeship training provider, for individual Apprenticeship standards.
- Assuring quality in the delivery of the Apprentices end-point assessments (EPA), where employer groups have been unable to propose other arrangements.
- Ensuring that all end-point assessments are quality assured.
The Institute for Apprenticeships works with their partners, who all have responsibilities for Apprenticeships in England including; the Department of Education, the Education and Skills Funding Agency and Ofsted. The Department of Education is responsible for individuals’ services and education. This includes higher and further education policy, Apprenticeships and wider skills in England.
The Education Funding Agency (EFA) manage £54 billion of funding a year supporting all state-provided education for over 8 million young people aged between 3 and 16. The Skills Funding Agency (SFA) fund skills training for further education in England supporting over 1,000 colleges, private training organisations and employers through £3.2 billion funding a year. These two agencies combined comprise the ESFA. Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s services and Skills. They inspect and regulate services that care for young people and services providing education and skills for learners of all ages.
Latest figures show there is currently the highest number of Apprenticeships on record with 900,000 Apprentices last year alone. 90% of all Apprentices gain full-time employment or progress on to further education at the end of their Apprenticeship. The Institute has been launched with the Apprenticeship Levy, which will double the annual investment in Apprenticeships to £2.5 billion by 2020.
The Apprenticeship Levy was introduced in April and the first payment was made in May to fund Apprenticeships, giving employers the opportunity to use their Levy funds to invest in both new Apprentices and up-skilling their current workforce. The Institute for Apprenticeships will ensure that the same quality of Apprenticeships that has been demonstrated in previous years will continue with the high demand.
Independent from Government, the Institute, chaired by Anthony Jenkins, was launched to ensure that all Apprenticeships are top quality and deliver the skills that employers need. It will further support the Government’s commitment to deliver 3 million quality Apprenticeships by 2020.
Chair of the Institute for Apprenticeships, Anthony Jenkins said:
“The Institute is now formally up and running. As an employer-led organisation, we will be well informed and responsive to the evolving skills that they need to succeed and that our Apprentices need it fulfil their potential.”
In 2017 to 2018, the Institute for Apprenticeships aims to:
- Build the confidence of employers, Apprentices and Government on the quality of Apprenticeships.
- Publish their first operational plan.
- Lead action on improving quality.
- Advise the Secretary of State for Education on the allocation of standards to funding bands.
Stewart Segal, Director of Policy and Strategy recently gave a policy update where he explained how the Institute for Apprenticeships will cover a wide range of technical training and education, as well as having a bigger role in the quality management of Apprenticeships.
The Institute for Apprenticeships will ensure the consistency of quality Apprenticeships throughout England as well as supporting the government with regards to the funding of each standard. To find more information about the Institute for Apprenticeships, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/institute-for-apprenticeships