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Apprenticeship standards - be in the know

Following the government announcement on 5 October 2018 that they would withdraw all apprenticeship frameworks by the end of the 2019/20 academic year, all apprenticeships starting from 1 August this year will be on new, employer-designed standards.

What are apprenticeship standards?

Standards have been developed with the aim of raising the quality of apprenticeships by responding to the needs of employers, using trailblazer groups. Standards describe what skills, knowledge and behaviours an apprentice will need at the end of their apprenticeship.

The Education & Skills Funding Agency (EFSA) have issued guidance to support relevant sectors on the decision to withdraw frameworks and replace them with apprenticeship standards on their website here.

What is the difference between an apprenticeship framework and an apprenticeship standard?

An apprenticeship framework is a work-based training programme that employees can follow to become competent at a particular job. It includes time learning at work and studying for a relevant qualification outside of work.

Apprenticeship standards set out the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed for an apprentice to be competent and capable in their role, as determined by employers.

Why are apprenticeship frameworks being withdrawn and being replaced by standards?

The ‘English Apprenticeships: Our 2020 Vision’ report states that ‘some [apprenticeship frameworks] are overly prescriptive, complex and long’, ‘lack the necessary detail’ and that ‘employers have criticised them [frameworks] for failing to equip young people to do the job’.

The report also mentions that frameworks do not guarantee that the apprentice is fully competent by the end of their apprenticeship, as they do not need to demonstrate that they can put together all the elements that they have learnt. This could mean that although an apprentice has achieved all the qualifications in the framework, they might not actually have the right skills to carry out the job. As a result, some apprentices require further training from their employer.

Standards have been developed with the aim of raising the quality of apprenticeships by responding to the needs of employers, using trailblazer groups.

What are trailblazers and what do they do?

Trailblazers are groups of employers approved by government to develop apprenticeship standards and related assessment plans for occupations in their sector(s). The groups are made up of at least 10 employers, and the work they do is supported by the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education.

Trailblazer groups also have a role in the subsequent reviews of apprenticeship standards, when the Institute checks if a standard is still required and fit-for-purpose. 

The work that trailblazers do ensures that standards are related to what is needed in the workforce, and what skills an apprentice needs in order to be capable and qualified in their future roll.

You can view all the apprenticeship standards available for delivery on the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education’s website here.

ESPO’s Apprenticeship Dynamic Purchasing System (554)

ESPO’s Apprenticeship Dynamic Purchasing System (554) was launched nationally in June 2019 having been successfully piloted by a group of London Boroughs prior to the launch. 

The dynamic purchasing system offers users a quick, simple and competitive route to purchasing apprenticeship training services.

To read more about the dynamic purchasing system or to download the User Guide, please click here.

If you would like to speak with a member of our People and Professional Services team, please contact them on:

t: 0116 294 4072

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