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LSC announces increase in Apprenticeship funding
The Learning and Skills Council has announced a £41 million (3%) increase in the budget for Apprenticeships.
According to the LSC, the above inflation rise will fund the increasing success levels achieved by apprentices and will be accompanied by adjustments to the funding rates of some Apprenticeships.
Stephen Gardner, director of apprenticeships said: "The Apprenticeship programme has experienced dramatic expansion and an improvement in quality over the last three years. Training providers have seen their incomes rise as more apprentices achieve and they receive the associated achievement payment.
"We now need to use the additional funding to make more places available to match the demand from employers and young people, whilst continuing to increase quality.
"As part of last year's funding changes we announced that we would review the actual costs of delivering each Apprenticeship. We have now looked in detail at the real costs of delivery by the highest performing training providers across the most popular Apprenticeships."
The LSC says this work was overseen by an advisory group including LSC staff as well as training providers and their representatives, the Association of Learning Providers and the Association of Colleges. The group looked at the top 11 Apprenticeship frameworks, covering 80 per cent of apprentices and work will continue in the next few months to review the remaining frameworks.
Kevin Street, senior policy manager at the LSC, led the work. He said: "We took into account the actual activity needed to deliver each Apprenticeship and looked at providers' real costs in order to understand where adjustments needed to be made. As a result, some Apprenticeships will see a slight increase in their funding, whilst others, where the cost of delivery was found to be less than the funding paid for, will see a fall."
The LSC cited as an example the Apprenticeship in Children's Care, Learning and Development. This has been expanded by the Sector Skills Council to include looking after children aged 8-16 as well as the under eights. Here, the LSC has increased the funding for the Apprenticeship to reflect the increase in the knowledge required by apprentices and assessors.
The LSC says that in other cases the funding for an Apprenticeship will be reduced to recognise an overlap between the technical certificates and NVQs, or the fact that the research showed that less work is required to guide learners through their Advanced Apprenticeship if they have already completed an Apprenticeship. Examples given include construction where there will be more money for the Apprenticeship but less for the Advanced Apprenticeship.
The increased budget and new rates cover the period 1st August 2006 to 31st July 2007.
For further information on the changes in Apprenticeship funding, visit: www.lsc.gov.uk
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