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Apprenticeship & Employer Engagement

This section provides the latest updates on the apprenticeships and colleges' work with employers.



An apprenticeship is a comprehensive training programme offered by further education colleges, independent providers, universities and institutes of technology in the UK. The programme consists of Knowledge, Skills and Behaviour elements. Students spend the majority of time in the workplace, learning on the job, but are required to spend 20% of their time studying more theoretical work. It is the 20% off-the-job element that attracts funding.

Apprenticeships can take a minimum of a year and up to six years to complete, depending on the level studied, and learners’ previous experience. Funding is mostly generated via an Apprenticeship Levy, which is a tax paid by larger employers. Funding is distributed by the ESFA.

Latest Highlights:

Useful links

  • View the latest webinars and videos


Emergency contact during Covid-19 period: Teresa Frith, Senior Skills Policy Manager, 07827 929423

Here you can find resources for apprenticeships in your college.

If you have any resources you would like to share with other colleges, please email

  • Latest Government guidance of flexibilities within traineeship programmes
  • Key changes for apprenticeships from ESFA and IfATE in response to Covid-19
  • Non-levy procured apprenticeships contracts:
  • Contract extensions were issued to training providers at the beginning of March via the Manage your education and skills funding service, with a start date of 1 April 2020.
  • Colleges with existing procured contracts received extensions to these same contracts, which cover the new financial year (2020-21) in full. These extensions were to fund carry over costs for existing apprentices as well as new apprenticeship starts, with start dates up to and including 31 October 2020 – this aligned with ESFA intention for all starts to be through the apprenticeship service from 1 November 2020.
  • Considering the challenges being faced by providers and employers as a result of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, ESFA are extending the transition period onto the service – funds available for new starts on non-levy procured contracts can now be used until 31 March 2021.
  • ESFA remain committed to giving smaller employers greater control over their apprenticeship choices by moving towards a system in which employers select an apprenticeship standard, choose their training provider and secure access to funding for all new apprenticeships through the apprenticeship service. As originally planned, this means, over time, more employers who do not pay the apprenticeship levy will begin to access apprenticeship training via the apprenticeship service, as well as through a provider with an existing government contract (now extended until 31 March 2021).
  • Following this extended transition all starts will be through the apprenticeship service from 1 April 2021. Contract variations will be issued in the summer to support the changes and performance management rules will be confirmed shortly through the usual routes.

Education Policy