How can improved employability through an affordable solution can overcome funding challenges?

Introduction: The Current Context
Since 2015, the Government has driven improvement in apprenticeships. This programme of reform was responsible for the launch of the levy and the introduction of standards, amongst other changes.

In 2019, Ofsted revised its inspection criteria, releasing the New Educational Framework. The emphasis of this NEF was on intent, implementation, and impact, with much-reduced credit given to achieving data-driven outcomes. With the apprenticeship reform's introduction of the behavioural standards, and now Ofsted introducing two of only four criteria that focus directly on these components, many providers are rightly worried about their next inspection visit.

This article is the seventh in a series of short reads covering the pain points faced by apprenticeship training providers in this new world.

In this piece we take a look at the challenges presented by the levy-funding model.

The challenge of funding
No-one thought a funding model for training would be easy to navigate, but no-one thought it could be this hard either. Most training providers have had to learn about apprentice eligibility, enrolment processes and ensuring that all the right deadlines are met for fear of losing money.

The levy, while flawed, does offer exciting opportunities for training providers. The levy-paying companies are incentivised to set up apprenticeships to claw back money. Small and medium-sized enterprises can also benefit from apprentices with co-investment, where they pay 5% of the cost of the apprentice, and the government pay the remaining 95%.

Only 14% of training providers are on the Register of Approved Training Providers (RoATP), the rest depending on limited value subcontracts. Through due diligence, capability, quality, and financial health assessment, these providers should have been able to evaluate if they can deliver high-quality apprenticeships. Only those on the register can offer apprenticeship training to outside organisations.

To make an apprenticeship profitable three things need to happen.
• The apprentice remains on board beyond the point that funding is triggered.
• The apprentice completes the apprenticeship within the window of training.
• The achievement rates are high enough to attract higher numbers of apprentices and employers.
Improving the employability and work-effectiveness of apprentices improves retention, engagement and achievement. By investing in the coaching and mentoring methods offered in the Entelechy solution, you equip the apprentice with all they need to thrive.

Importantly, the Entelechy solution is affordable. For a single digit percentage of the funding you get for each apprentice, you cover the behaviour standards and improve the employability of learners. That is a small investment for a huge return.