The Department for Education is considering changes to apprenticeship funding bands because employers “do not feel able” to negotiate with providers.
The current 15 apprenticeship funding bands, which represent the maximum levy or government funding that an apprenticeship can attract, were expected to create an environment in which employers and providers would negotiate on prices below the upper limit of £27,000, but “this hasn’t materialised across all of the market”.
Potential changes include “alternative funding band structures”. Any new structure would apply to new starts from August of this year. The Department for Education expects to confirm any changes in the spring.
The current 15 apprenticeship funding bands were introduced in May 2017, with the maximum set at £27,000, which will remain the case, and the minimum set at £1,500.
“If we do change the funding band structure, we will work with the Institute for Apprenticeships to ensure that any new standards that are approved for delivery are allocated to both one of the 15 current funding bands and to a new, post-August funding band,” according to the Department for Education.