Apprenticeship providers asked to log off-the-job training

Providers will be asked to log apprentices’ off-the-job training hours to prove that the deeply unpopular minimum funding requirement is being met, has been reported by FE Week.

A new data field for individual learner records (ILR) – which is to be updated monthly – is supposed to “help” providers “demonstrate compliance” with the requirement for at least 20 per cent of apprentices’ time to be spent training away from work.

It will not be introduced until 2018/19 and is described in new ILR guidance as “optional”. But the Association of Employment and Learning Providers believes that it goes against previous assurances over how the rule, which is hated by employers, will be enforced.

“All along Education and Skills Funding Agency has assured us that there would be no additional administrative burdens, but this a significant add-on,” said AELP boss Mark Dawe.

“It’s another example of process being prioritised over outcome, imposing more bureaucracy on employers and providers, while offering no insight on the quality of the learning.”

Further guidance on the new field explains that it should record the “cumulative total of actual off-the-job training delivered to date, to the individual apprentice, in the academic year by the training provider”.

It should also take into account “subcontracted training providers and the employer”.

The data is to be recorded on a monthly basis to the “nearest whole hour”.

This will contribute to the full ILR for each learner, a data record that must be kept by providers and returned to the ESFA to secure funding.

The full article can be read on the FE Week website