IfATE launches second consultation for new apprenticeship funding model

A second funding rate consultation has been launched by the government’s apprenticeships quango.

The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education is currently seeking views on a revised proposal for a new model for setting individual apprenticeship standard funding rates.

Following a review of over “200 consultation responses” IfATE have laid out revised plans for a new funding model. IfATE refers to this model as a ‘rates-based variable model.’

IfATE has also published their response to the original consultation they ran earlier this year. Even before the consultation window had closed, IfATE announced they would be launching a second consultation.

As FE Week reported at the time of the original consultation launch in February, funding rates for some apprenticeship standards could be cut by almost half under the plans.

IfATE’s, CEO, Jennifer Coupland, said: “We have listened to that feedback and explored ways in which additional variation can be achieved in our approach, without negatively impacting the transparency of the model.

“We are today, launching a second consultation on a refined model which addresses many of those points raised during the first consultation.”

According to IfATE this new “rates-based variable model”, is a hybrid of the proposal they consulted on earlier this year.

The model will mean an estimated band is generated at the start of the apprenticeship development process when an occupational proposal is approved for development.

This element of the model is referred to as the “rates based” part, as it relies mostly on rates which are derived from research into the cost of apprenticeship training and assessment, adjusted to reflect the duration and sector of the apprenticeship.

The ‘variable’ element of the model, allows IfATE to vary the levels of funding for several components of the model to reflect variation in costs between different apprenticeships.

This will allow trailblazers to provide additional evidence to inform a more bespoke level of funding, based upon the costs of teaching, consumables and mandatory qualifications.

Anna West, deputy director for apprenticeship funding and approvals, IfATE said: “Our goal is to introduce a more transparent and evidence-based system. I would like to thank everyone for taking part in the first consultation. We have taken on board your feedback to further improve our approach.

“The refined model now being consulted on would be based on independent evidence, but also offer flexibility to employers to provide further information to ensure they receive appropriate levels of funding. I would like to urge as many people as possible who care about the future of apprenticeships to take part.”

The funding band system as a whole supports employers, helping more to benefit from apprenticeship levy funding by delivering value for money in the programme. 

The consultation will run for 6 weeks, closing at midnight on 6 October 2020. A series of supportive virtual roadshow events will also take place during this period.

If you have any questions you can contact Institute-Funding.CONSULTATION@education.gov.uk or visit: https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/reviews-and-consultations/consultations/funding-consultation/