The Department for Education (DfE) and the Skills Finding Agency (SFA) have today (14 March 2017) published a new register of apprenticeship training providers, making sure that anyone taking an apprenticeship is doing so with a top-quality, registered provider of apprenticeships.
For the first time, this also means that the trainers who are providing the courses do so with the needs of apprentices in mind, ensuring their training is tailored to the requirements of the businesses they work in.
All providers on the register have been through a rigorous assessment process to make sure they meet apprenticeship quality expectations. Levy-paying employers will be able to choose their apprenticeship training delivery from this high-quality, flexible and responsive provider base for all apprentices starting their programmes from May 2017.
There will be regular opportunities for new providers to apply to the register, with the chance for new applications at the end of March and quarterly thereafter encouraging diversity and competition amongst providers and supporting quality and employer choice.
The register is a crucial milestone in delivering the governments wider reforms to make apprenticeships more rigorous, better structured, independently assessed and more clearly aligned to the needs of employers.
The reforms include the introduction of the apprenticeship levy from 6 April, which will require employers with a wage bill of over 3 million a year to pay 0.5% of their wage bill, to invest in apprenticeships.
Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Robert Halfon said:
Giving employers control over their apprenticeships needs and funding is an essential feature of our plan to create an apprenticeships and skills nation. Our new register of apprenticeship providers will mean that only organisations that have passed our quality assurance can deliver apprenticeships.
We are giving employers the confidence to do business with high-quality training providers, and making sure that individuals can benefit from gold-standard routes as they climb the ladder of opportunity.
The register is available on GOV.UK.