In April 2017 government introduced a new approach to funding. All apprenticeships, whether frameworks or standards, have been allocated one of 15 funding bands, ranging from £1,500 to £27,000.
For the Water sector the funding rates are:
- £3,500 – Level 2 Framework
- £12,000 – Level 3 Framework
- £12,000 – Level 3 Standard
These amounts are now the maximum amount of government funding available for an individual apprenticeship at each level. If an employer agrees a price with a training provider above these levels then the difference would have to be funded by an employer contribution.
These funding levels are also the cap for any government ‘co-investment’ where an employer does not pay the levy or has insufficient funds in their digital account and is eligible for extra support.
There is an additional £1,000 of funding payable to both the Employer and the Training Provider if the apprentice is 16-18 years old.
The Institute for Apprenticeships announced on 4 December 2018 that they will be reviewing the Funding Band for the Level 3 Water Process Technician Standard over the coming weeks with a conclusion by early summer 2019. The IfA is looking at reducing funding bands so Watertrain will be working with clients in the review process to ensure an appropriate funding band is secured for this important provision.
Apprenticeship funding is governed by rules laid down by the Education & Skills Funding Agency which detail the obligations for both employers and training providers.
The Employer is now required to enter into a contract with the Education & Skills Funding Agency to access the Digital Apprenticeship Service so enabling it to spend the apprenticeship levy.