New apprenticeships regime to be introduced from 2017
01 November 2013
In March 2013, the government launched a consultation seeking views on proposals for reforming apprenticeships in England. It described the present system as “prescriptive”. The response to that consultation, in the form of an "implementation plan", has now been published.
- Existing apprenticeship frameworks, governed by the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 (ASCLA 2009), will be replaced by new standards.
- These new standards will be designed by employers, while the government will set a "small number of criteria" that the standards must meet.
- The standards will be short and will set a level of skill, knowledge and competency, against which an apprentice will be assessed.
- Apprentices will be able to achieve a pass, merit or distinction grade.
- English and mathematics requirements will also be introduced.
- Without exception, all new apprenticeships must last for at least 12 months.
The ASCLA 2009 will therefore be amended by the Deregulation Bill, which is expected to be introduced in Parliament in early 2014. The academic years 2015/16 and 2016/17 will be the key period of transition to full implementation of the reforms, while the government`s aim is that from 2017/18, all new apprenticeship starts will be based on the new standards. As the new standards are developed, the government will cease funding for apprenticeships entered into under the ASCLA 2009.
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