What’s happening with Apprenticeships in Health and Social Care?
In 2014-15, there were 87,000 starts in Adult Social Care Apprenticeships. That’s 17% of the approximately half a million starts- the largest proportion of any sector of the economy.
What is an Apprentice?
An apprenticeship, as described by Skills for Care, is both on-the-job and off-the-job learning and development.
An apprentice works as a normal employee. With help from experienced staff they gain the skill set needed for their role within care. Off-the-job training contributes towards the apprenticeship qualifications. Apprentices are also paid for their work.
Different Levels of Apprenticeships
There are two learning frameworks:
Health and Social Care
Learners follow an adult social care pathway at one of 2 levels:
Care leadership & Management
This is a higher level apprenticeship- equivalent to Year 2 of university.
The higher level, introduced in 2012, is widely undertaken by aspiring managers. It accounted for 43% of higher apprentices in all sectors in 2014-15.
Apprenticeship Reform- Trailblazer
The Department of Business Innovation and Skills, and the Department for Education have been leading the Government in reforming the apprenticeship system. This is known as Trailblazer. The process has been led by employers, with support from Skills for Care.
4 New Job Titles
The employer group- led by Helen Wilcox MBE of Woodford Homecare in the West Midlands, have assessed apprenticeships and decided on 4 generic occupational job titles:
- Adult Care Worker. (Current level 2 intermediate)
- Lead Adult Care Worker. (Level 3 advanced)
- Lead Practitioner in Adult Care. (Now level 4)
- Leader in Adult Care. (Level 5 or higher)
The standards for these titles are on the Government website, but won’t be available to use for another few months, once details are finalised.
End Point Assessment
On top of existing competency based QCF Diplomas, an apprentice must finish with independently administered tests. This requirement is the same for new apprentices across all sectors.
If an apprentice doesn’t already have maths and English qualifications, they will have to acquire them:
- Level 2 apprentices will need level 1 in English and maths.
- Level 3 or above apprentices will need level 2 English and maths.
The Reform Part 1- The One Plus Two Model
The employer is the customer. They have the relationship with the learning provider- so they should have buying power.
The Current System
Learning providers claim money from the Skills Funding Agency (SFA). The amount that they receive is determined by the size of the qualifications and the age of the apprentice.
Apprentices aged 19 or over attract 50% or less of payments of the 16-18 year olds. The difference in the cost of delivery is usually made up from employer contributions. These can be in kind rather than in cash.
The New System
Employers will need to pay in cash. But, there will be no age based distinction on the cost. The SFA will set a maximum price for each apprenticeship standard from 1 of 6 caps. The employer will decide on a price with their chosen learning provider under this cap.
Employers will pay one third of the price and the SFA will contribute the remaining two thirds.
The SFA will pay additional incentive payments to the employer if they are small, employing 16-18 year olds and upon completion.
It is also important to note that Employer National Insurance contributions for apprentices under 25 will be abolished.
Part 2- The Levy
The Apprenticeship Levy will apply to all employers from April 2017. Any employer with a payroll over £3million will contribute 0.5% on the amount over the £3million.
The levy should only affect around 2% of employers. It includes private & public bodies, Government departments, Local Authorities and NHS Trusts.
The money raised will be put in a digital online account for that employer. It will be matched with a 10% top-up from the Government. This account will be part of a new digital apprenticeship service. It will combine databases of learning providers, learners looking for apprenticeships and any advertised vacancies.
The levy essentially means that employers will have control over a pool of money to pay for as many apprenticeships as they require.
- 3 million apprenticeship starts between 2015-2020.
- Public bodies will be required to take on 2.3% of their workforce as apprentices.
- To persuade employers to take on more apprenticeships.
The Apprenticeship Ambition programme, driven by Skills for Care and supported by the Department of Health contributes 17% of all starts. There is also a high completion rate of 79%.
People who achieve the new Apprenticeship standard will be of a very high quality. They should take great pride in what they have achieved and the occupation they have chosen.
At Embrace-learning, we are going to work with both employers and learning providers in the Health and Social Care sector to help deliver Apprenticeships. Our online content will help to both reduce training costs for employers and learning providers, and support apprentices throughout their training.
The better you train your employees, the longer they tend to stay.
Embrace-learning is a UK leading provider of quality e-learning resources to the Health and Social Care sector. Find out more about us on our website
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