Posted : 5 years7 months ago by mandy crawford-lee
ESFA Procurement for Non-Levy Paying Employers
UVAC has been undertaking a considerable amount of work to outline the adverse impact the ESFA procurement results is and will have on Degree Apprenticeship provision for non-levy paying employers in many localities.
UVAC undertook a review of the results and has been contacted by approximately 20 HEIs in response to an invitation to talk through concerns. Sometimes discussions have been held on a confidential basis. Although a couple of HEI submissions appear to have failed on technicalities, HEI bids were typically strong, fully compliant and met qualitative criteria. Thirty-five HEIs appear to have been successful, although many have contacted UVAC to express concern at the limited amount of funding allocated to them by the ESFA. A total of 714 organisations (predominately Independent Training Providers) were awarded funding.
A significant number of HEI bids have through the ESFA regional scale back process been pushed below the £200,000 threshold. In such cases HEIs have not been awarded funding. In one case a bid of over £500,000 was pushed below the threshold.
In considering the ESFA approach to the tender it is useful to know that approximately 2,200 organisations are listed on RoATP – 10% are employer providers, 10% FECs, 4% HEIs and the remainder Independent Training Providers (ITPs). ITPs see the non-levy market as their key market for Apprenticeship delivery.
UVAC have/is raising the following points with HEFCE, ESFA and DfE and in the sector press:
‘Please be assured that we will not seek to reclaim any funding related to Phase 1 project spend as expenditure related to that phase completed in March 2017. For projects on-going at this time, we are prepared to engage in dialogue where there is an identified impact that may result in redirected or underused funding.’
While HEFCE’s assurance is useful, it does not address the fundamental issues and problems faced by such HEIs, their partners, local/regional employers and the skills needs of local economies.
UVAC is undertaking the following action:
We believe ESFA are very aware of the impact of the procurement on certain localities. We have written to ESFA’s Chief Executive outlining the issues arising from the procurement and are proposing potential solutions to the problems raised and have discussed this with ESFA officials. HEIs who wish to discuss the impact of the procurement and potential options in more detail and in confidence should contact Adrian Anderson [email protected]
Transfer of the Apprenticeship Levy
ESFA have provided further details on arrangements for levy paying employers to transfer up to 10% of their levy payments to other employers to pay for the receiving employers’ Apprenticeships. UVAC believes this is a very significant development for the HE sector and particularly for HEIs that did not secure funding from ESFA in the recent procurement for the provision of Apprenticeship for non-levy paying employers. Further details can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/transferring-apprenticeship-service-funds
HEIs who want an informal discussion on the levy transfer system should contact Adrian Anderson: [email protected]
Institute for Apprenticeship Advice on Apprenticeship Funding Bands
UVAC is increasing concerned about the advice being provided by the IfA to Ministers on the Funding Bands allocated to Degree Apprenticeships. We have made it quite clear to DfE officials that the funding band allocated to an Apprenticeship should be based solely on all costs relating to the delivery and assessment of the Apprenticeship. Issues of affordability, however, seem to increasing dominate discussion. While, in due course, the affordability of the Apprenticeships employers will want to use may become a major issue, artificially deflating funding bands is the worst possible solution to making the levy pot go further. Indeed, we have argued that deflating funding bands is the best way to drive quality Apprenticeship providers out of the Apprenticeship market. Instead, we are suggesting that IfA and DfE use the other Apprenticeship ‘levers’ at their disposal; the 10% Government contribution to levy payers accounts, the 10% non-levy paying employer co-investment or indeed the £3million PAYE threshold at which employers start paying the levy to make the £2.5bn levy pot go further.
UVAC is exploring how we can undertake some work to develop a methodology to cost Degree Apprenticeship provision and this is a feature of our webinar programme.
2 days ago, Mandy Crawford-Lee
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