FE Industry update
The country is now in the early stages of beginning to think about what is being called “the new normal” – the way that social and working practices will have to be conducted in an age where a vaccine or treatment for Covid-19 is either not widely available, or not available at all.
These are difficult times for employers, learners and providers- as part of the cross-government efforts to respond to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19), the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is implementing new measures, until further notice to reduce the negative impact.
Plan for Jobs Apprenticeships, Traineeships, investment in the National Careers Service, and a new ‘Kickstart Scheme’ are the crucial elements of a new ‘Plan for Jobs’ announced by the Chancellor, the Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP.
Job Retention Bonus.
A Job Retention Bonus will be introduced to help firms keep furloughed workers. Employers will receive a one-off bonus of £1,000 for each furloughed employee who is still employed as of 31 January 2021.
The Chancellor announced that for the next six months, the Government will pay businesses to hire apprentices, with a new payment of £2,000 per apprentice for those under the age of 25 and £1,500 for those aged 25 and over. This money is in addition to the existing £1,000 payment the Government already provides for new 16-18 year old apprentices and those aged under 25 with an Education, Health and Care plan.
The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education have put in place a flexibility that enables apprentices to take end-point assessment (EPA) ahead of receiving their calculated functional skills qualification results.
The Government will provide an additional £111 million this year for Traineeships in England, to fund high-quality work placements and training for 16-24 year olds. Employers will receive 1k per trainee. The Government will also improve provision and expand eligibility for Traineeships to those with Level 3 qualifications and below, to ensure that more young people have access to high-quality training. Current traineeship rules apply until September 2020.
The Kickstart scheme is for those aged 16-24, claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. It is worth £2 billion and will give hundreds of thousands of young people, in every region, the best possible chance of getting on and getting a job. There is no cap on the number of places per employer. Funding available for each six month job placement will cover 100% of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week and employers will be able to top this wage up.
The Apprenticeship Programme response to COVID-19 & guidance & 20/21 Funding Policy
Summary of version 6 changes:
• From 13 July, in addition to the limited number of 16-19 apprentices attending on-site delivery, providers can now make arrangements for 19+ apprentices to return to onsite delivery, where this can be safely accommodated. From September there will be no limit on who can attend • Confirmation that where an apprentice has been made redundant, but is continuing their apprenticeship study, they can claim Universal Credit (UC) as long as they satisfy all eligibility criteria • The temporary flexibility suspending the funding rule requiring level 2 apprentices to study towards, and attempt, level 2 functional skills assessments has been extended until 31 December 2020 20/21