If you’re unable to find a suitable apprenticeship programme in England for your business, you may not be able to spend your levy.
If your business is part of the Trailblazer group relevant to your occupational area, then you can ensure, through the consultation process, that the resulting apprenticeship is fit for purpose for your organisation.
Alternatively, employers can contact the department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to find out if there is already a Trailblazer group in place for their specific occupation. If one doesn’t exist, you can get together with 10 or more other employers (2 of which have to be an SME) to create a Trailblazer of your own.
With the introduction of the Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS) in England, there is now a new way of working with providers.
This new apprenticeship model relies on employers and providers negotiating how apprenticeships will be delivered and assessed (including end-point assessment), as well as agreeing a fee and payment schedule. Your business may opt to work closely with a provider to design a bespoke apprenticeship programme, or you may opt for a programme pre-designed by a provider.
The Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS) will hold performance data for all providers that deliver apprenticeships, including Ofsted outcomes. It will be down to the employer to choose a provider they think is fit to deliver their apprenticeships.
Ensure a watertight contract
We recommend that all employers and providers have a legal contract and payment schedule.
It will be up to you to negotiate the payment schedule which could be one up-front payment, or payments over a series of months during delivery. Funds will be transferred directly from your account on the Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS).
The funding cap is the maximum amount that can be claimed for delivery, although the employer and provider can negotiate to deliver the apprenticeship at a reduced cost.
Flow chart for working with providers