Apprenticeships are undergoing radical changes; new apprenticeship trailblazer standards are being compiled by employers to replace the current SASA frame work components.


Trailblazers are groups of employers, both large and small, who work in similar sectors who have come together to write the standards for job roles that their businesses require. These standards outline measurable outcomes, including knowledge, skills and behaviours that an apprentice must achieve and be assessed on to be considered competent within a job role. To date, there are 140 trailblazer apprenticeship programmes that have, or are, in the process of been developed, with a further 350 new apprenticeship standards on the horizon.   


Delivery involves a number of partners, including employers, government agencies, training providers and apprenticeship assessment organisations.


The development of apprenticeship standards follows a government approved process (right).


Apprenticeship Business Solution Service (ABSS)

Train2Train operates an apprenticeship business solution service for employers.


We can analyse your business requirements and in conjunction with put in place a strategy for you to make the levy work for you. For further information please contact the office and speak to a member of the team.


The Levy

The government has released further guidance on the new apprenticeship levy, providing a clearer understanding of how it will be funded, and the role employers and training providers will play.


From 6 April 2017, all UK employers that have an annual pay bill of over £3 million will be required to pay an apprenticeship levy to invest in apprenticeships. The funding will support people of all ages to gain high-quality skills and experience and help employers to offer more training opportunities and build a skilled workforce.


Here are the key points from the proposals:

  • Employers that are too small to pay the levy will have to pay 10% of the training costs, with the remaining 90% paid by the government.
  • Employers with less than 50 employees will not have to pay towards the training costs of 16 to 18-year-old apprentices, which will be 100% met by the government.
  • Employers who take on a 16 to 18-year-old apprentice will receive an additional £1,000.
  • Employers and training providers who take on 16 to 18-year-olds or young care leavers with an education, health and care (EHC) plan will receive additional funding.
  • Employers will be able to use levy funds to retrain workers in new skills, even if they have prior qualifications.
  • Employers subject to the apprenticeship levy, who want to spend more on training than is in their digital account, will see 90% of their additional apprenticeship training costs funded by the government.
  • From April 2017, a register of training providers will be available to improve the link between training providers and employers. The proposed funding system will consist of 15 bands, each with an upper limit and which will range from £1,500 to £27,000. 50% of each apprenticeship programme must be delivered by a training provider.
  • Employers who are also training providers will be subject to Ofsted regulations.
  • Providers who have an Ofsted rating of grade 4 will be unable to provide apprenticeships.
  • Apprenticeship providers will no longer be rewarded with a double payment for each apprenticeship start.
  • The success payment (paid upon successful completion of an apprenticeship) will be replaced with a 20% completion payment, regardless of the final grade.
  • Apprenticeships will be available to everybody over the age of 16 at all levels.
  • Training providers who have apprentices enrolled on programmes that do not receive approval on the new register of apprentice assessment organisations will have their learners transferred to another provider. This is currently under consultation.


To help employers see how the levy and funding system would impact them, the government has also created a new online calculator, which is available here.  This easy-to-use tool will allow employers to understand how much they will have to pay and how they could use their digital funds to pay for future training.


A consultation on the plans is now open, and will close on 5 September 2016. Employers and training providers are invited to have their say on the initial funding proposals to try to ensure that the final plans fully meet the needs of all those involved in the apprenticeship programme. If you would like to take part in the consultation, please click here.


The final proposal on the apprenticeship levy is due to be confirmed in October 2016.


The apprenticeship levy funding proposal is available here; additional guidance on the levy can also be viewed here.