It’s a Happy New Year for small businesses!

It’s a Happy New Year for small businesses!

27/1/2020 - Posted in: Blogs

This New Year brings good news, as from now on non-levy paying employers will finally be granted access to the digital apprenticeship service. This also means that many training providers previously ‘restricted’ from working with smaller businesses will now have the facility to be funded for delivery of apprenticeships.


The change has come in response to thousands of smaller businesses not being able to access the system in 2018-19. The ESFA new ruling (in England) will see many more small bakers, butchers and fishmongers, especially in rural areas, start recruiting apprentices and driving their businesses forward. The only caveat appears to be that the new system will ‘cap’ the number of funded starts to a maximum of 3 in 2020.


How it works

The apprenticeship service has devised a new mechanism called “reserve my funding”. This reservation ensures the funds will be available to pay for the training right from the point the apprenticeship starts. For added piece of mind and to help with planning funds can even be reserved up to 3 months before an apprentice starts. There’s no change for  training providers, who will receive the funding in the usual way.


Opening the door to funded apprenticeships could bring a new lease of life not only to SMEs, but also to our high streets all around the country. So, if you’re an approved centre I’d encourage you to spread this bit of New Year cheer far and wide.


For detailed information on the changes to apprenticeship funding for non-levy employers, see the latest Dept for Education report here.


TF New