The increase in apprentices aged 25 and above is to be monitored by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) throughout the next academic year.

A briefing note published by the SFA on March 30, says: “We will monitor the pattern and volume of 25+ apprenticeship delivery in-year and will not award any growth for 25+ apprenticeship provision.”

The document also says the agency expects a “greater focus” from training providers on recruiting new apprentices aged between 19 and 24, rather than 25 and above, through the adult apprenticeship allocation.

“This will be supported by the roll-out of the new incentive payment for employers recruiting apprentices aged under 25 years,” the briefing note adds.

The announcement follows a new minimum duration of 12 months, for all apprentices aged 19 and above, unveiled by the skills minister John Hayes yesterday.

(Read the ‘Skills Funding Agency Final 2012/13 Allocations Methodology briefing note’ here)