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National Apprenticeship Funding Proposals – How will they affect TICA Members?

The Department for Education has released their ‘proposals for apprenticeship funding in England from May 2017’ somewhat later that we had originally been told to expect.

Here are the headlines:

• Start date for the new system – 1st May 2017 this is for apprenticeship funding…not the levy which will start in April 2017.

15 funding bands with the upper limit ranging from £1,500 to £27000. Thermal Insulation has been banded 3 with an upper limit of £6000 for L3 and £4000 for L2.

• No age banding for funding rates of geographical location uplifts

• Co – investment rate – 10% of the costs, with government paying the remaining 90%. 10% initially paid directly to the provider who must evidence this – over time this will be managed through the digital account. Co-investment is a funding method for all non -National Apprentice Levy (NAL) paying employers. It would be our intention that TICA evidence the 10% contribution through the TICA voluntary training levy fees paid to the association as part of an employer’s membership of the association.

• The government will waive the co-investment requirement for small employers which train 16 – 18 year old apprentices this is good news for the future training needs of smaller members – especially in H&V where taking on a younger apprentice is becoming more achievable.

• English and Maths functional skills funding will not require an employer contribution

• Re-training: eligible learners will be able to undertake apprenticeships at a lower level than their current education level ‘to acquire substantive new skills’ this is particularly useful to some TICA apprentices who in the past have been ineligible for funding due to existing A levels or other higher level qualifications gained prior to their Thermal Apprenticeship

• Transferring of digital funds – from 2018 levy paying employers will be able to transfer up to 10% of their annual funds to other employers – this will be particularly important to larger TICA employers who will be able to utilise this transfer scheme to allocate funds they would already pay to TICA as training levy.

TICA will be supporting the statement from Build UK and the CBI calling for the delay of the levy introduction for one year, and further investigating the level caps for construction related apprenticeships which are traditionally more expensive to deliver at the lower levels – see the attached statement from Build UK.

For TICA members, there will be little visible change for the next twelve months as the digital accounts come into force and are set up. As members already pay a voluntary training levy to TICA, we anticipate that we will be able to evidence this as part of any 10% co-investment, although at this stage, we do not have absolute confirmation. If members train apprentices and the value of their 10% co-investment contribution exceeds their voluntary training levy contribution on their TICA return, then the additional funding will need to be paid by the employer before TICA can draw down the remainder of any government funding.

All members who will be liable for the upcoming NAL in April 2017 will immediately have a digital account set up from May 2017 onwards to facilitate training of any type of apprenticeship through a provider who will have to be on an approved list. As TICA already has much experience of approved provider lists for current Skills Funding Agency funding, we do not anticipate any problems gaining approval.

We will be publishing regular updates to all our members over the coming weeks and months, and it is clear that whether you are an employer that will be immediately affected by the NAL or not at some point in the very near future, funding for apprenticeships will be changing dramatically for everyone involved.

If TICA members have any current questions on the future of skills funding in Thermal Insulation, please email your enquiries to:

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