Changes to apprenticeship training in April and May mark the start of the long anticipated apprenticeship reforms in the UK, as the government implements plans to achieve its target of three million apprentices by 2020.

Employers with a wage bill in excess of £3m are now required to pay 0.5 per cent of their staffing costs into the Apprenticeship Levy, which the government will top-up by a further ten per cent. The funds will be available for the employer to reinvest into apprenticeship training and assessment for 24 months. The government predicts that the scheme will raise a total of £3bn a year, and that this injection of cash will make the apprenticeship route a more attractive alternative to university.

From May, the government will pay 100 per cent of training and assessment costs for apprentices aged 16 to 18 in businesses with less than 50 employees. Those employing apprentices over 19, or with more than 50 employees and not required to pay the levy, will receive funding to cover 90 per cent of costs.

May also sees significant changes to apprenticeship training with the introduction of new apprenticeship standards. The standards will replace traditional training frameworks and have been designed in partnership with employers to ensure apprentices are assessed against the skills, knowledge and behaviours that an individual needs to be competent in a given occupation. In the hospitality sector for example general professional cookery apprenticeships have been replaced by chef de partie, commis chef, senior chef production cooking and senior chef culinary arts apprenticeships that relate to very specific job roles.

These are examples of more than twenty new apprenticeships Truro and Penwith College announced it will be offering at its Apprenticeship Week Conference in early March.

Tom Moran, customer development manager at Truro and Penwith College, commented: “The level of support and funding available means apprenticeship training schemes are not only a great solution to recruit and train new talent, but will be an even stronger option for our employers to upskill current members of staff, allowing them to work towards relevant qualifications while continuing to perform in their job role.”

“April and May are the perfect months for employers to start working with us. This is the time of year our talented fulltime students are looking for their next step, and this ties in nicely with the new standards. It’s also a great time to talk to us about how we can take advantage of the new apprenticeships and support available to train and improve the performance of current employees.”

To explore how apprenticeships can have an impact on your organisation, contact Truro and Penwith College’s apprenticeship team on 01872 242711 or email