Decision on management apprenticeship funding bands delayed following employers' appeal

Three controversial management standards are not among those to have their final funding bands confirmed by the Institute for Apprenticeships today, after the employer group behind them lodged an appeal.

Details of the funding bands for 12 of the 31 standards involved in the IfA’s review, which began in May, were published today following sign-off by the education secretary Damian Hinds.

These did not include the level six chartered manager degree apprenticeship, the level five operations departmental manager nor the level three team leader/ supervisor standard.

All three, which between them accounted for almost 20,000 starts in the first nine months of 2017/18, were set to have their funding rates slashed by between £500 and £5,000 following the review, as reported by FE Week in August.

However, the employer group behind them launched an appeal against the recommendations.

More than 150 employers, including retail giant Tesco, joined forces in late August to protest against the “extensive and highly-damaging cuts”.

The all signed an online appeal, led by the Chartered Management Institute, urging the IfA and the Department for Education to “undertake a full and transparent economic and social impact assessment” before making any final decision.

It’s unclear whether the appeal has been successful.

A spokesperson for the CMI told FE Week in late September that the employer group had formally appealed to the IfA against its recommendations, but was unable to say when a decision was expected.

FE Week has approached the CMI for an update.

According to documents seen by FE Week in August, the IfA’s recommendation for the chartered manager standard was to cut its funding from £27,000 to £22,000.

The level five operational/departmental manager standard is facing a cut from £9,000 to £7,000, while the level three team leader/ supervisor standard is set to be capped at £4,500 – down from £5,000.

The team leader/ supervisor standard is the most popular to date, with 12,080 starts in the first nine months of 2017/18, while the operational/ departmental manager is the fourth most popular with 5,530 starts over the same time period.

And there have been 1,750 starts on the level six standard, making it the most popular degree apprenticeship.

The funding band review was launched in May by the IfA at the request of the DfE.

Its aim is to “help make sure that employers can access high quality apprenticeships and that funding bands represent good value for money for employers and government”.

Any recommendations from the review are subject to possible appeal by the employer group followed by final sign-off by Mr Hinds.

Once confirmed any increases will take effect from October 6, while any decreases will come into effect from January 1.