ESFA apprenticeship tender for small employers who do not pay the levy

31 Jul 2017

ESFA launched the non-levy Invitation To Tender (ITT) on 31 July 2017. As with all ESFA managed procurements, the ITT has been posted on the Bravo platform and ESFA will only use this platform for communications related to the tender. Each college has a key contact who will have been sent an email informing them of the ITT. Only providers who are designated Main Providers on the register of apprenticeship training providers will have received such an email.

The closing date for the tender is Monday 4 September 2017 at 23.59. It is a detailed tender and will require a reasonable level of staff hours to complete, so the sooner members are aware of the opportunity, the mor time they will have to plan and complete.

ESFA has been very clear that this will be a challenging procurement.

The tender document is here:

Key points about the procurement:

  • Closing date: 4 September 2017, 23.59
  • Contracts will run for a 15 month period from January 2018 to March 2019
  • Initial total amount to be tendered is between £865 million and £ 3,115 million This is a larger sum than the £440 million quoted in the 2016 tender that was abandoned because the funding may cover carry in leadners and because ESFA may increase the amount allocated if it becomes clear that levy paying employers are training fewer apprentices than expected.
  • Tender caps will be applied to bidders who will be divided up into four market segments: New Provider, Subcontractor, Existing Apprenticeship Provider (most, if not all colleges will be in one of these two segments)
    • New provider:    T/O in 2015/16 financial year x 1.25 or £750,000 (whichever is lower)
    • Subcontractor:  T/O in 2015/16 financial year x 1.25 or £1.5 million (whichever is lower)
    • Employer provider below £1.5m in 2015/16 financial year: T/O x 1.25 or £1.5 million (whichever is lower)
    • Employer provider above £1.5m in 2015/16 funding year: 110%
  • Maintaining the current geographical distribution of the apprenticeship provision is a ke objective of the procurement. ESFA will therefore divide the budget up into nine regions