TICA has been notified by Gateshead College that the current funding provision and ‘sub contracting’ arrangement that we have with them for provision of training in thermal insulation to non levy apprentices will no longer continue for any new recruits from September 2019 onwards.
Gateshead College has acted as a ‘Prime’ funding provider to TICA for the past 24 months, in effect ‘brokering’ finance to TICA for small non levy paying employers and TICA acted as the ‘sub contractor’ to provide the apprenticeship provision.
The Education Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) now prohibits subcontracting arrangements of this type and following an in-depth funding audit, Gateshead College has confirmed to us that they are now unable to continue this type of funding arrangement. Apprentices already registered in this way will however, continue to be funded by Gateshead College until they complete their EPA.
Thermal Insulation, like many bespoke apprenticeships, is now technically left out of access to Government Funding, unless you are a larger employer and subject to the National Apprenticeship Levy via the digital system.
Many in the Further Education sector believe this is down to a lack of available funding overall from central Government. The good news is that following some successful financial planning and positive returns from more recent years, TICA has the ability to self-finance training provision for our non-levy members.
TICA will provide further updates to members at our upcoming Autumn Regional Meetings due to take place in early November, but members should not expect to see any restrictions on apprenticeship provision.
All apprentice starts from September 1 2019 from small employers will be fully funded by the Association. TICA expects that ESFA funding will resume for small employers from May 2020 onwards, when all employers will be expected to utilise the digital apprenticeship payments system.