SFA already finding ineligible employer incentives and will 'strengthen' funding rules

The apprenticeship funding rules will be beefed up to stop inappropriate employer incentives, just two months ahead of the launch of levy-funded apprenticeships.

The Skills Funding Agency said in their weekly update that they were aware of providers offering incentives, such as payments to employers to refund fees, which was ‘contrary to the policy intent’.

“Following the publication of the Apprenticeship funding and performance management rules 2017 to 2018, we have been made aware of some emerging delivery models that are contrary to the policy intent.

“For example, some providers are offering incentives for employers by paying or re-funding them for certain aspects. These include:

  • inflating training costs to refund the employer’s co-investment
  • funding ineligible costs to employers as subcontractors
  • claiming higher prices to fund non-English apprentices free of charge to the employer

“Providers must not make payments of this kind to employers.

“We will continue to review these practices and will shortly be strengthening the funding rules to prevent this.”