For any apprentice, the end-point assessment (EPA) is one of those milestones that will never be forgotten. Passing the EPA is a recognition of the hard work the apprentice has put in, the willingness to listen, watch and learn, and to accept the support of the training company assessor and, most importantly, the employer. End-point assessment is taken at the end of the apprenticeship after what is often referred to as the ‘on-programme period’. It’s a major change from the previous reliance on continuous assessment throughout the course and, arguably, increases the pressure felt by the apprentice. One of the changes is the requirement for the EPA to be assessed by an independent assessment organisation; in other words, not the employer or the training provider. Potentially this may be the first time that the apprentice has met the end-point assessor, so it can feel intimidating; but with the right support and preparation, it can be exciting and satisfying for the apprentice to show the skills they have developed. This is where the active preparation support from the training provider and the employer can make such a difference to the outcome of the EPA. Take Zak Holley for example; Zak didn’t feel that studying for A levels at the sixth form at his school was the right route for him to take. Instead, he signed up for the Officeworks programme with leading provider PM Training.
If your business has a wage bill over £3 million then you’ll have been paying the apprenticeship levy since April 2017. However, there is a growing number of businesses that are not utilising their levy budget. If not used, unspent funds in employer’s levy accounts are lost – meaning employers are losing the opportunity to upskill staff and recruit apprentices – is it an opportunity that you can afford to lose? The uptake of the apprenticeship levy has been slow, and as a result the number of apprenticeship starts. With a 3m starts target set by the Government back in 2015, in April 2019, the national picture was over 548,000 starts below target according to FE Week. New initiatives in April have helped to make the recruitment and use of apprenticeship training easier. The co-investment percentage was reduced from 10% to 5% making it more cost effective to train and develop using apprenticeships.
From April 1, 2019, the maximum amount of apprenticeship levy which you can pass to your supply chain is set to increase from 10% to 25%. But what does that mean for employers? Here's your guide to how the change works, how it will affect your business, and everything you need to know about implementing it.
During National Apprenticeship Week 2019, we catch up with Chloe Eaton, 17, from Chesterton and Tyler Fenton, 17, from Tunstall, who are making a fantastic impression at The Place up Hanley. Both are getting stuck into a work experience placement getting them ready for a career in health and social care.