Government announces first wave of apprenticeship frameworks to be switched off

The Government has announced the first seven apprenticeship frameworks that will be closed to new starts this summer.

The announcement was made on the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) website this afternoon.

It said: “We have published a list of seven apprenticeship frameworks which will be closed to new starts from June 1. This means the last date for new starts is May 31.

“This is the first in a series of batches of frameworks to be removed as part of apprenticeship reforms.”

This includes frameworks at level three in blacksmithing, engineering and manufacturing technologies, campaigning business administration and law, energy assessment and advice, retail and commercial enterprise.

Also affected at level three are frameworks in providing mortgage advice, business administration and law, along with witness care, health, public services and care.

And further level two frameworks facing closure to new starts are for building products industry occupations, and cabin crew, engineering and manufacturing technologies.

The SFA added: “These had no starts in the 2014 to 2015 funding year or in the funding year 2015 to 2016 up to the R06 data return. We therefore consider three months’ notice of switch-off for these frameworks to be sufficient.”

A spokesperson added students still completing their apprenticeship on the seven frameworks would “continue to do so”, on their agreed funding arrangements, and “their apprenticeship completion certificate can be claimed as normal”.

“The Secretary of State has written to the relevant issuing authorities to remove the framework and they will notify providers and employers of this.”

It comes after FE Week reported in December last year that the government had scrapped plans to stop funding all apprenticeship frameworks after 2017/18.

The cut-off, that would ensure providers were only delivering new Trailblazer standards come 2018/19, was first announced in October 2013.

But it was revealed in the government’s 2020 vision document, published on December 7, that the 2017/18 end of frameworks has now been dropped.

According to the document, the government’s “aim was for all new apprenticeship starts to be on standards from 2017/18” instead of existing apprenticeship frameworks.

But it added: “We think the recent announcement of the apprenticeship levy warrants giving employers longer to consider which occupations they will require apprenticeships for.

“To allow for this, we envisage a migration from apprenticeship frameworks to standards over the course of the Parliament, with as much of this to take place by 2017/18 as possible.”

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