Update to TICA Members Regarding the Apprentice Accommodation Booking Process

Update to TICA Members Regarding the Apprentice Accommodation Booking Process

Background

TICA successfully moved our apprenticeship delivery from that of a ‘Framework’ to the new ‘Standards’. Under new funding rules for the Standards, TICA successfully negotiated residential status and accommodation has been provided as part of the funding provision paid to TICA by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) since March 2018.

All English and Welsh operatives undertaking the Standard have all of their accommodation paid for through the funding. Additionally, IETTL took the decision that Scottish TICA employers could benefit with a partial contribution towards accommodation costs driven by the higher levels of funding being received for English and Welsh candidates.

The additional funding has been an overwhelming success for our sector apprenticeship training, however, implementation has not always been so straightforward. As a relatively small organisation, we continue to refine how we can best deliver benefits to members in an efficient and effective way.

The Current System

Accommodation for all funded English and Welsh and part funded Scottish apprentices is booked and paid for by TICA . This has a number of drawbacks:

  • Apprentices don’t always get to choose which hotel they stay in
  • Ensuring that the communication is effective between TICA, the employer and the apprentice can be very time consuming and in some cases ineffective
  • Employers become removed from the practicalities of their employees accommodation whilst technically this still being  their responsibility
  • If apprentice behaviour in the hotel falls below our expected standard, it is difficult for the hotel to discipline an individual under a group booking and the apprentice sometimes can feel removed from their individual responsibilities
  • As numbers have increased on our apprenticeship programme, the central administration task of booking and communicating with each individual employer has become costly and onerous on the administration team
Moving ForwardTICA has pre-negotiated rates at a number of hotels within Darlington. Each of our apprentices has a unique learner number (ULN). It is the intention of TICA that from 7 April 2019 onwards, employers will go back to making individual bookings for their apprentices for weeks in attendance at The National Training Centre. Employers will be given a list of hotels which will have details of our learners and their learner codes that are valid for those particular weeks. Employers will make the booking for the apprentice at which ever hotel is selected but no payment will take place.

Each of the defined hotels will issue weekly invoices to TICA referencing the apprentice name, ULN, number of nights and food etc.
All funded apprentices will be paid for from the invoices received and cross checked by admin staff. This information will be recorded on individual Smart Assessor logs.

Employers will make the booking only, with supporting references, at the TICA rate. Once the ULN and name has been provided by the employer the hotel will be able to identify the learner as a TICA apprentice and no payment will be requested.

For Scottish apprentice bookings, admin staff will provide you with information of how many weeks you are entitled to for each learner that you have registered with us. Once the admin team has settled the full entitlement of weeks, that learner name will be removed from all hotel lists, and no further pre-paid bookings will be accepted. As the employer, you will then continue to book and make your own payments for the remaining weeks.

TICA currently has pre-agreed rates at the following hotels:

  • The Blackwell Grange
  • The Dalesman
  • Harrowgate Hill Lodge
Each hotel has an allocation of rooms reserved, and it is anticipated that they will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
Apprentices aged 18 or under should be booked into The Blackwell Grange Hotel as there is a 24 hour concierge service.  The Harrowgate Hill Lodge has 24 hour reception so apprentices with underlying health issues can be booked into this hotel or The Blackwell Grange.Any additional payment or booking errors made by employers will be re-invoiced back to you at the end of each month, however, we anticipate that with effective communication between now and the end of March, these errors could be kept to an absolute minimum for all concerned.

We will move to this system of apprentice accommodation booking from 7 April 2019.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this new system, we would ask that you make contact with our admin team as soon as possible in order that we can identify and resolve any potential problems well in advance of change over.